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'How cam'st thou in this pickle?'' — Shakespeare, 




A Letter to the American Farmer. 


s — ^ * 


Published by The League of American Wheelmen, under direction of its National 
Commillee on Improvemenl of Ibe Highways. 


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*T^HE National Committee on Improvement of the HigfawaTB takes this oppor- 
tunitjr to made pablic acknowledgment of the cordial assistance which its 
work has received fiom vaany sources. The thanks of all wheelmen are due to 
President Dann and the Executive Committee for the uniform support and 
encouragement which our efforts have received at their hands ; to the New York 
and Connecticut State Divisions for their contributions of photographs; to Mr, 
Marriott C. Morris and Mr. John Carbntt for their individual labors and contri- 
butions of valuable pictures of American and foreign roads ; to Mr. Arthur G. 
Collins, whose letters and photographs, sent from France, have abundantly added 
to the force of our work ; to Major Charles L. Burdett and to Chief-Consul Mott, 
of Maryland, for the results of their labors as members of this committee during 
the last year, and to Chief-Consuls Bull, of New York, and Brown, of New Jerse)-, 
for the invaluable personal and official aid rendered by them in many ways. 

We are conscious also of many obligations due to other friends and members 
of the League for kindred favors, but space will not here permit a more extended 
acknowledgmenL They are not forgotten, and we thank them all. 

Isaac B. Potteb, \ 

W. M. P. BowEN, V Commitlee. 

Chas. W. Wood, 3 

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I have beard oE a verjr clever woman whose otherwise 
excellent husband disturbed the felicity of the household 
about twice in each year by making himself very drunk. 
The good wife, despairing of the common and commonly 
hopeless remedy of moral suasion, applied her wits to the 
discorery of a newer and more eSectiTC means of appealing 
firom Philip drunk to Philip sober. On the occasion of his 
next debauch, when he was brought home in a condition of 
maudlin helplessness, with clothing smeared and torn, eyes 
bleared and face inflamed by drink, she sent tor the pho- 
ti^irapher and caused a life-size picture of her limp lord to 
be taken, which was duly finished in appropriate colors, 
framed and hung in a place of honor in the family reception 
room, where she insisted upon keeping it for a period of 
Qiree months, and made known her vow to double the term 
whenever ihe oRense should be repeated. That picture was 
a silent and successful preacher. 

It has seemed to me that if national errors could be 
reflected in the same forcible way ; if some power could and 

tn i« Durteltu u otben Ke lu " 

we should get to the end of many of our difficulties. The 
dirt roads of America are heavy drinkers. They lead a 
staggering and uncertain course from town to town; smear 
themselves with thick mire; for four months in the year are 
unfit for the company of respEctable people, and less than 
-eighteen months ago got themselves regularly indicted by 
the grand jury.* The pictures of roads shown in this 
pamphlet arc made &om photographs. Like all truthful 
pictures tbey arc better than words, and if they shall supply 
force to the imperfect work which I have put together in 
the odd moments picked from the hours of an exacting pro- 
fesdon, I shall feel that I am doubly paid for my trouble^ 
that the pictures themselves are a suflicient reason for tlieir 
existence, and shall owe an abundant gratitude to the friends 
by whose aid they have been obtained. 

■ On Jutwry M, i8S^ Ihe gnmd jury or Union County. N. J., »ma 
the old [i»d>; dcdniiag 
ds be repaired and pul iq 

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To the American Farmer : 

In these days, when the voice of your complaint is loud in the 
land, and a thousand partisans are declaiming a thousand theories to 
account for the "decline of agriculture," I will try to write you a 
letter, in which, I believe, I can make it appear that the greatest 
remedy for the cure of unprofitable farming lies in your own hands. 

It is a thanltless, unpopular, and, in some respects, a discouraging 
thing to preach reform, and the man who undertakes it for your 
benefit is entitled to your everlasting regard. I am going to make that 
claim upon you, and you will be more ready to square the account 
when you know that I am opposed to high taxes, and to the placing 
of undue burdens upon the farmer, and that I am only tiying to show 

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a way for the enrichment of your slender purse and the bettennem of 
your condition. 

The man vho lives on a larm should be happier for every associa- 
tion of farm life. It is a splendid thing to breath pure air, drink pure 
water and have a hundred acres of elbow-room. Another thing, every 
fanning community is a community of homes. You have something 
to be proud of in that. It broadens your manhood and makes you 
know you have a sacred spot to love and defend. It makes you a 
good citizen, and a tender husband and father. I wouldn't give much 
for the patriotism of a man whose only interest in the nation can be 
packed in a carpet bag. He is not the man for the times when his 
country is in peril, and when the air trembles with the noise of battle 
you will find the great bulwark of defense to be made up of volnnteers 
from the &rms and firesides. Most great men have been bom in the 
country, and no child of genius ever yet thrived in a boarding-house. 
The great and successful government is always a government of homes. 

And I want to acknowledge the importance and grandeur of your 
vocation. It is the prime source of all national wealth, and, under 
proper conditions, it should make you the happiest and most in- 
dependent of mortals. By the fruits of your toil humanity is sustained, 
and to reward yoiu industry the coffers of the world are open. 

But these are the incidents of your calling. Personally you in- 
herit the common foibles of the race, and you are not ^oof from the 
errors nor exempt from the misfortunes which beset us all In all 
kindness let me remind you that in other years you and your good 
neighbors have opposed many great improvements which were intended 
for our common benefit, and which the lapse of time has placed in 
the highest niches of human advancement You do not forget that 
when the first railroads were projected you appeared before the legisla- 
tare of your State and opposed the grandng of franchises to all such 
iniquitous schemes. You said that the locomotives would bum your 
crops and set fire to the wool on the backs of your sheep ; that the 
gases from the smoke stack would poison your family and your form 
stock, and that travel in a railroad car at the frightful speed of twenty 
miles an hourwould be fatal to many passengers and dangerous to all. 
You opposed the telegraph and ridiculed the mowing machine. You 
took the sewing machine on sufferance and regarded the patent 
thresher with a suspicious eye; and I might almost say there is no 
great invention of commercial or agricultural value which was cheered 
at its birth by the warmth of your approval 

It is best that I should remind you of these things. I do it with- 

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oat malice, for I am somewhat of a tanner myself, and in this most 
friendly commanication it is best that «e begin with the frank uDder- 
standing on all sides that in spite of your great intelligence, events 
have proven that, Uke the rest of mankind, you are likely to err. We 
don't always recognize a good thing at Grst sight 

You have changed your opinions about many things because you 
did not at first understand their value Observation, argument and 
experience have helped you out of many an error ; and I am sure you 
will pardon me if I suggest that you have never yet learned the value 
of a good road ; for upon this subject you have bad neither observa- 
tion nor experience, and without tbese argument is certain to go astray. 
Let me remind you by one or two illustrations taken from your personal 

The scythe and the flail are no longer the best tools of your trade, 
and yon long since ceased to shoot crows with the old flint-lock. A 
few years ago one of your venturesome neighbors went to the State 
fair and brought home a patent reaper. A little later an enterprising 
drummer sold him a thresher and a bnntng mill. He was a brainy 
neighbor, with plenty of nerve and a confidence in bis own judgment, 
and you profited by his experience. You looked over the fence while 
he was at work and became satisEed that the old way of doing things 
involved an extravagant waste of time and labor ; and you soon found 
that the money spent for &rming machinery was well invested. 
Then they ran a line of railroad up through your county, and after a 
while you discovered that it was cheaper and vastly quicker to ride on 
the cars than to go long journeys by the common road ; and you have 
been on tolerably good terms with that railroad ever since. 

Each of these splendid improvements has filled a want Proving first 
its usefulness and then its necessity, it has found a market You can- 
not half succeed without it Did you ever think how it was that all 
these labor -saving things were first brought to your attention? They 
were not bom in a public institution nor invented by a public officer — 
not one of them ; they were not put in use by the vote of a town meet- 
ing nor by proclamation of the Governor ; they are no part of the 
public business, and in bestowing their benefits they have been careful 
to avoid the sluggish turn of the public mill. It all came about in 
quite a different way. Do you remember how you first came to buy 
■A mower? A wide-awake Yankee told yon that he had a machine 
for cutting grass by horse-power ; that this machine would do better 
:and cleaner work than yonr scythe, and that, too, at the rate of an acre 
an hour. Yon said "Nonsense." He took his mower down into 

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your meadow, and in a good-natured way proved to you that you 
could save money in buying that machine ; that you had been paying 
too much for hired help and boarding too many estra^hands in harvest 
time. Vou bought that mower, and though you paid what seemed a 
round figure, you now know that it has paid for itself many times over. 

And so you see at the outset, that the mower was rather forced upon 
you, as were the horse-rake and the reaper and all the rest of the 
splendid things in the category of farming machinery. You have taxed 
yourself to pay for these improvements. There is no philanthropy in 
trade, and you have paid cost and profit to the manufacturer till he 
has grown rich in the business ; but on the other side of the account 
it appears that the millions of money spent by the farmers of the United 
States for improved machines have been repaid to them a hundred fold 
by the saving of time, Jahor and money which the oM methods would 
have entailed. You have shared benefits and divided profits with the 
manufacturer, and your money has gone nnbewailed to pay for a 
splendid thing. Your tax has turned out to be an investment, and in 
the year 1880 you had over four hundred millions of dollars invested 
in farm implements and machinery. 

But I began with the intention of writing to you about roads — 
the common road that leads from your door-yard to the nearest mar- 
ket. Did it ever occur to you that this road is part of the machinery 
of agriculture? That your farm wagon is a machine, pure and 
simple, and that the road bears the same relation to your wagon that 
the steel rail bears to the railway car 7 It will do you no harm to 
think of this a moment, and to remember that every great improve- 
ment is the child of thought The head will ever guide the hand, 
and every splendid thing you ever did was bom and bred in your 
brain. When the people think the nation moves ; and a government 
of sluggards is next door to a government of slaves. 

If I could be sure that your strong sense would be put to work in 
the settling of this question of better roads, my letter to you might 
stop right here ; but I know that your thoughts are every day directed 
in the channel where flows the tide of your personal affairs, and in 
these times of fierce competition you have little to give to the settle- 
ment of public questions. You have taken things as you have found 
them, and long use of dirt roads has almost persuaded you that they 
are good enough.' You are a victim ot the ensnaring wiles of custom. 
" Custom," says Montaigne, "is a violent and treacherous school- 
mistress. She, by little and little, slyly and nnperceived, slips in 
the foot of her authority ; but having, by this gentle and humble 

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beginning, with the aid of time, fixed and established it, she then . 
nnmasks a furioas and tyrannic countenance, against which we have 
no more the courage nor the power so much as to lift our eyes." 

I have no axe to grind and have nothing to sell you ; but I want 
you, as an old friend, to give to this question of good roads the same 
thought that worked your brain when you bonght the mower, for I 
am going to say some surprising things to yon about the country 
roads, and we shall get on immensely better if we agree about the 

fiicts. And I am going to try to steer clear of theory ; for the road 
question is for and away the most important one to the American 
farmer to-day, and when we talk about roads it ia best to bear in mind 
that one feet is worth a gross of guesses, and to apply that scriptural 
rule, which is no less good in material than in moral things: " Prove 
all things ; hold &8t that which is good." 


Vou will agree with me that your roads are bad. You may not 
know that they are the very worst in the world ; but you have never 



Seen or h«ard of worse ones;, nor, alas, perhaps of better. You 
live on the main road in an important county. I saw }rou one day 
last spring trying to drive your best horse throagh the pasty depths 
of that mysterious streak of public territory, and while the patient 
beast was pulling the harness in two, in his efforts to lift you and your 
scant load on to the little bridge near the mill, yonr photograph was 
taken, and I have had it copied on page 9 of this pamphlet. 

It is an honest picture— as honest as the sun; let us sit down to- 
gether and look at it You will notice thatyonr^e is turned the Other 
way, and I promise not to tell anybody who you are; for I feel that 
the day is soon coming when every American farmer will look upon 
that picture with some regret, and I have no desire to humiliate a 
friend; besides, it is not your &nlt alone that this road is bad, nor is it 
this road alone that presents a sea of slush and slime throughout each 
rainy season. 

There were 10,000 farm horses in your county on the day when 
this photograph was taken, and for about four weeks all the county 
roads had been in just this condition. Teaming was out of the qnes- 
tion; to haul a load to town was impossible, and the 10,000 him 
horses stood in their stalls " eating their heads off." At what cost to 
the brmers? Assume that the cost of keeping each hoise is twenty- 
five cents per day, including labor, food, and all other items, and in 
half a minute we compute that it costs f 1,500 per day, f 17,500 per 
week and exactly f 70, 000 for the four weeks that these horses have 
been standing practically idle. A bad road, you see, is an expensive 

It is expensive not alone to the &rmers of your county, but to the 
farmers of the endre country. The average rain-fall in the United 
States is something over 40 inches per year. The dirt road absorb) 
these 40 odd inches of water, freezes and thaws, dries, pulverizes, 
changes from paste to powder and back again from powder to paste, 
and for weeks at a time is practically impassable. Farm traffic is tied 
□p. Yon have produce to sell, purchases to make, grain to grind, 
timber to haul, bills to collect and obligations to meet, but all 
these must wait because your only avenue of travel is taking its annual 
soak. A dozen times a day you look out of your bam door with the 
hope of seeing some struggling vagtaat of whom you can inquire, 
"How is the road?" 

I do not intend to overdraw the picture, for we have agreed to- 
gether to stick to facts alone, and so I have traveled many miles and 
gone to much trouble in order that my letter to you might contain 

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on\y the truth, and I find the countr)' roads to be even worse than I 
had supposed them to be ; worse than you think them to be. They 
are disgracerulty bad almost without exception. One day I said to 
myself: "Now, there is the great Empire State; she is out of debt, 
rich, populous, thriving; she has 125 people for every square mile of 
her territory, nearly 300 incorporated cities and villages, and the value 
of her farm crops last year was about one and one-half times that of all 
the New England States combined. I will go up to the capital county 
of this great State and see what sort of roads New York has provided 
for her larmers. " So one day in April a year ago I went to Albany, and 
there, almost in the shadow of that magnificent 125,000,000 State 
house, I found the farmers of Albany County literally struggling in a 
" slough of despond." Here is a picture from an actual sketch made 
at that timei 

Another perfectlyhonest picture; as honest as the sun. How much 
do you suppose it costs the farmers of Albany County per day to keep 
the roads in that condition? The Legislature was then in session, 
making laws "for the better government of the City of New York," 
"for the expenditure of money in the repair of State canals," "for 
improvement of navigation in the Hudson River," "for the completion 
of the State Capital," "for the maintenance of convicts in the State 
Prison," and so on, millions for expenses without end, but nothing in 
behalf of the ^mer. I bought an Albany morning newspaper, and 
found in that a somewhat extended article on the condition of the 
roads in the State of New York. Let me quote : * 

*SeaA]1>uix Ar^tu ofApiil i6, iBijo. 

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Througb correspondence from this and vicinity counties it ha* been learned 
that the roads have, during months past, been almost impassable. Business has 
been impeded, ^rmers unable to forward produce, and trade in general debarred. 

The roads Jn the vicinity of Casileton are in such a shape that it is impossibte 
for farmers to get into the village at all, and business is what may be termed at a 
standstill. Outside the villages the condition of the roads is by fsr worse than in 
former years. 


On account of the rough ruts and the very muddy condition of the roads near 
Guilderland Centre, which are in theworst condition known in jears, larmeis find 
it extremely difficult to reach the market with their produce, in consequence of 
which business has, for some time back, been very dull in this section. 

Farmers found it uphill work to raise money enough to pay taxes this spiing, 
and some of those in debt cannot pay their yearly interest. Merchants are also 
hard pressed, and have large accounts on their books, which, although good, can- 
not l>e paid until roads are put in condition, so farmers can get to market and lelt 
their accumulated produce. 

The roads in East Berne and vicinity are simply indescribable. They are 
now beginning to mend, but for the past month they have been almost impassable, 
and for formers lo attempt to carry a load has been entirely out of the question. 
Nothing but absolute necessity will induce a farmer to go to Albany with a load of - 
produce, and then he finds that 600 or Soo pounds make a heavier burden for hll 
team than 2,400 would with ihe roads in ordinary condition. 

The eOect tells seriously on our local merchants. The business at the grist 
mill Euffen because ^rmers, rather than dniw their grain to mill through the deep- 
mud, prefer lo feed it to their stock whole. The lumber business has been 
affected to a greater extent than any other. The winter season is the time when 
farmers draw logs to the saw-mill to have them sawed into fencing material and 
for repairing their buildings. 

This winter they have been waiting for snow and better roads, until the timfr 
has arrived when other duties upon the farm require their attention. 


of the roads is easy of explanaUon. For the past two months there has not been. 
frost enough in the ground to form a bottom, and the constant travel with fre- 
quent rains, has worked the roadbed into mortar, and in many places the 

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Nothing like it was ever experienced in that vidnit]' before. There has 
□ever been a seaMn on record when the roiids hare been bad for so long a period 
as they have the present Maion. 

The roads near Central Bridge have been almost impassable all winter. So 
much so that trade has been affected to a great extent. Moch of the produce that 
has alwajn been brought here ha* beensold for leu in places near production. 
For the past three diji, however, they have improved. 

The roads in the vicinity of Fonda are in an almost impassable condition, and 
farmers are unable to bring anything lo market if they so desire. As a result, 
business of all kinds is almost at a standstiU. The roads were never in a worse 
condition than now. 

The roads in the vicinity of Clarkiville are In a better condition just at 
present than they have been for the last eight or nine months, which is owing lo 
the abscence of rain for a week. 

The fimners have been compelled, to a certain extent, to keep their produce 
at home on account of the condition of the roads. Those residing along the New 
Scotland plank road, or the Bethlehem turnpike, have the advantage of farmers 
residing elsewhere. They can go to market at any time, while people in this 
vicinity are 


The wont road for the ClarksviUe farmers is the Delaware turnpike. From 
the bridge over the Normanskill to the pavement of Delaware avenue, near 
Bender's brickyard, it has been impassable a number of times. The roads have 
been worse for the last two years than before, owing lo the large amount of rain 
that has fallen during that time. 

The roads in the vicinity of Hartwick Seminary, for the first time in many 
months, are 


The past winter, which has been one totally unlike any previous in the 
memory of the oldest inhabitants, has also been remarkaUc for th^: bad condilioa 
o( roads. In the villages of Milford and Cooperstown the roads in the main streets 
have been in a terrible condition, and merchants have attributed the depression of 
business in no small degree to this. With the pleasant weather of the past few 
days the roads arc gradually growing smooth, and. though still having many deep 
ruts, tanners are traveling much more. Every year the ^t is being more clearly 
shown that some more eflective methods must be adopted to secure better roads in 
our country districts." • • • 

From twenty-seven of our States came at that time reports vhich, 
without exception described the public roads to be in a condition not 
unlike those of Albany County. From one of the wealthiest and most 
populous western States, a State full of respurces and endless possibili- 
ties for the farmer, came a photograph, taken on an important country 
road leading into one of the great cities. I might tell you what city 
it was, but the scene is no worse than could have been found in the 



suburbs of a hundred other towns at that time and I have no desire to 
excite municipal jealousy. Here is the picture. You see the wagon 
has become hopelessly stuck, and is atnndoned hy horse and driver. 
If that horse could talk, what a story we might have I He would tell 
you a patient tale of pains and trials that you know not of and 
assure you that a dirt road in a civilized country ia as much oat of 
place as a dirt roof. 


And so it was — and so it is, all over the country. Last March the 
&rmers of Chester County, Pennsylvania, were using a six-horse team 

to draw a single load of hay. On the 21st day of that month oneof 
the "leaders" in that team stumbled and fell in the deep mud and 
water which covered the road and was drowned before he could be 
got out In Montgomery County, Maryland, during the same month, 
a lady recovered f 1,500 damages from the county for personal injuries 
received by reason of the bad roads. Costs and disbursements swelled 
the sum to about $4,oco. But these are only incidents, and they have 
no force except as illustrations. The real unmitigated iniquity of a 
mud road must be seen by a more extended view. 

I^t us try a few statistics. Vou hate statistics and so do I. Take 

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them as they go, they are drier than a mouthftil of dast, and we both 
know what that ia. Bat once in a while the Government aenda a man 
round to count things, juat to see whether we are all here and how we 
are getting on ; vei]' rnocb in the same way that we count eggs and 
chickens and measure tye and oata. We are dealing with a big sub- 
ject and one which concerns all the people. Let us look at it from 
a standpoint where everybody can see the inspiring specUcle. I want 
you to understand, if you do not see it already, that a bad road is 
really the most cKpensive thing in your agricultural outfit ; that it is as 
much behind the limes as the hand-loom and the flail and the sickle ; 
that it has no rightful place in the domain of an intelligent people. 

From official Government sources I iind that the farmers of tbi» 
country, in the year 1890, had upon their fanns, draft animals as 
follows : • 



Average Price. 



78 00 



Now to simplify matters a little, you see you have nearly f 1,000- 
000,000 invested in motive power of a perishable, uncertain and 
expensive kind Busy or idle these animals must be fed and cared 
for every day. They are boarders that you can't get rid of when the 
busy season is over and it stands you in hand to keep them at work. 
Two thousand millions of dollars make a large sum. Invested at 5 per 
cent interest it would produce nearly fi, 000,000 per week. Then 
you see there are more than sixteen millions of horses and mules 
alone, and to feed and care for these it costs the modest sum of 
^4, 000,000 per day. A little while ago a very clever and intelligent 
citizen of Indiana estimated that bad roads cost the farmer $15 per 
year for each horse and mule in his service. This means a loss in 
the aggregate of nearly $150,000,000 per year. Add wear and tear 
of wagons and harnesses, f 100,000,000 ; depreciated value of farm 
lands $3,000,000,000; total, htietiiy Ihret hundred and fi/iy laMons 
0/ dollars. 

* TlitM Efwn m nka frnm oSdnl ».■»■— r^ ooapilnl nwkr diraclloB of ilu Unilail 
Suia GQitraauBt uAoriUM u WnhiotUB. 

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Making the utmost allowance in &vor of the farmer and granting 
the necessity for the libersil use of horse-power in the maintenance of 
agricultural tiaKc, it is easily certain that the farmers of this country 
are keeping at least two millions of horses more than would be neces- 
sary Co do all the hauling between farm and market, if only the prin- 
ciple roads were brought Co a good condition. If yon assume that 
each of these horses is fed the ordinary army ration of hay and oals, it 
requires 14,000 tons of hay or fodder and seven hundred and fifty 
thousand bushels of oats per day to feed these unnecessary animals, 
which themselves have a money value of f 140,000,000. The 
value of -hay and oats fed to these horses per day is about f 300,000, 
or something like #114,000,000 per year,* 


I was down at Hubmire's for a week last April, and we had an 
occasional friendly argument on this question of better roads. The 
wet weather had hung on and the wagon roads were then in a des- 
perate condition. Things were dull about ihe old farm and Hubmire 
had been dividing his time between chores and trout fishing to keep 
off the blues. One day he had to go to town. There was something 
needed in the bouse and a dozen things to be actended Co which could 
not longer be put off. To kill as many birds as possible with one 
stone, Hubmire hitched his team to the box wagon with the intention 
of hauling out a load of coal for the sitting-room stove. I hadn't 
seen a newspaper for more than a week and was glad of this chance to 
connect with civilization and find out whether we hadn't skipped a 
day in the calendar ; so I accepted Hubmire's invitation and went with 
him. It was a slow and painful trip. The clay roads were wet, bot- 
tomless and sticky, and the horses struggled along in about the same 
way that a fly wades in molasses. We passed only one vehicle on all 
those aiz miles of road, and that was a hearse. It was about half a 
mile out of town. The team was tied to the fence and, as we came up, 
we saw that the driver had led his seat and gone back a short distance 
where he stood with a fence picket in his hand, reaching out mto the 
mud, and vainly trying to recover an object which seemed to be sunk 
nearly out of sight in the soft mire. It looked enough hke a bottle to 
be one, but the lone fisherman told Hubmire it was a plume-holder 
that had "joggled loose," and dropped off the top of the hearse. 

Ihe valufi of hvy at fio per ton, jtnd oati at Iwenty- 

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"That's Berriam, the undertaker," said Habmire; "Guess he's 
goin' to plant somebody up in the Sokeville district" 

" Yes, " I replied, wiping a soft clay poultice out of my left eye, 
" It will be easy digging up in the old graveyard ; I wonder how 
Berriam found out the man was dead." 

The subtlety of that joke was too deep for Hubmire. It had never 
yet occurred to him that there was anything wrong with the roads. 
He had never seen better ones and he knew that these were as good 
as the average, take it the State over. 

It was the middle of the afternoon before we started for home with 
our half load of coal, and when we reached the "comers." Hubmire 
stopped at Rumse/s to water his horses and give them a few minutes 
rest The season was a little in advance of fly-time and Rumsey was 

taking a comfortable nap in his big arm-chair in the barroom. Our 
conversation outside, together with the noise of the pump-handle, 
roused Rumsey (o the occasion and, coming out to the doorway, he 
stretched his arms, legs and jaws by a kind of simultaneous reaching 
out of all the muscles, pulled his soft hat down in front till the rim 
made a very sharp angle with the bridge of his nose, threw his head 
back far enough lo enable him to see straight ahead and said : 

" Hello, Enoch ; glad to see you ; come in and'warm up a little ; 
how's the goin' down below ? " 

"Nothin' to brag about," said Hubmire, looking at the sea of 

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paste which covered his horses and wagon, "beats all what a power 
of rain we've had this spring ; how's business?" 

"Hain't made a dollar since the January thaw," said Rumsey; 
" the mud is so terrible deep folks can't afford to be neighborly, ind 
when they do drop in they don't stop long. It takes about all their 
time goin' and comin'." 

We followed Rumsey into the front room of the hotel and there 
was a solemn and musty air about the place which was very impress- 
ive. It was a "public house" with a suspension of public patronise. 
From four directions the roads ran in and centered at Rumsey's. 
Good farming lands stretched away on all sides and every natural con- 
dition was bvorable to success ; but the roads were indescribabie. 
The farmers and country merchants were surrounded and besieged by 
impassable sloughs of deep mud, and business was wrecked by the 
bondage of bad roads. Rumsey couldn't see it He was bom in it, 
reared in it, and it had become a part of his existence. But Rumsey 
was genial. He bad an irrepressible load of good fellowship in his 
mental cargo and was nut disposed to quarrel with natural conditions 
^-of which, to his mind, a mud road was a familiar type. To him all 
roads were dirt roads, for he had never seen any other. He knew 
that water was wet, that dirt was soluble, that clay was sticky, and 
he had always regarded slush and morter as a kind of visitation from 
Providence to mankind — "inscrutable" endugii to be sure ; but never- 
theless as certain and unavoidable as the chaitiging seasons themselves. 
So, in season and out, wet or dry, busy or id!^. Rumsey kept a pla- 
card over the pepper-sauce -bottles in his barroona which read : 
"Welcome the coming, ap«ed the parting guiest," 

That night, when Hubmire had finished his work at ftf^e barn, we 
sat together and smoked. I thought it was a good time to^llc with 
Hubmire about the roads ; so I suggested to him that he courd do all 
his plowing and farm work with two horses, and that if there^'^ * 
good hard road running down to the village he might do all his t^™" 
ing without adding to that number ; that he was now feeding !five 
horses when two or three ought to be enough. \ 

"Now don't," said Hubmire, "don't tell me I've got too maiV 
horses ; I think I know a. thing or two about farmin', and I tell you 'i 
hain't got horses enough. My bay team will haul a smashin' good 
load of hay to town any day, and that's all any man's team 'II do. I 

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tell you I ain't askin' for better roads than we've got right here in this 
township." Hubmire thinks a good deal of himseirand is a hard man 
to convince. He never takes a drink at the town pump without first 
rinsing the dipper, inside and out, and in matters of argument he is 
just as cautions not to be contaminated by suspicious ideas. Bat I 
like Hubmire. We've had many a good day's hunt together in old 
times, and I've always found him a good companion and a humane 
sportsman. He is an honest man and a good husband, and there's 
always hope for a man like that. 

So I kept up the fight. I said to him : " Hubmire, you are wrong. 
I know you keep good horses ; there are none better in the country ; 
everything about your farm is in the best condition, and there isn't a 
farmer in the country who has done more hard work in the last twenty 
years than you have done. Everything that you have found to be of value 
to the fermer you have added to your possessions, and if I could show 
you that a good road is the one thing necessary to improve your pros- 
perity you would be the loudest preacher for improved roads in this 
Slate. In spite of all your hard work you are not clear of debt There 
is a mortgage on your farm and it draws interest night and day; it eats 
into your prosperity ; there is something wrong with you and with all 
your neighbors. Farming is no longer as prosperous as it was in 
times gone by. The population of many of our agricultural districts 
is less than it was ten years ago ; the mortage indebtedness of Ameri- 
can farms is increasing at the rate of about eight and a half millions of 
dollars per year, and the decrease in farm values since iSSois esti- 
mated at f20o,ooo,ooo. In the single State of Ohio this loss 
amounted to about |7 per acre for the entire State and there are 
other States where the proportion shows a still worse condition of 

" The country is losing and the towns are gaining ; the larmers are 
growing poorer ; the Government is growing richer. Every minute, 
night and day, the United States Government collects tt/S more 
than it spends. Think of it Ten thousand six hundred and eighty- 
six dollars per hour; $356,330 per day; $7,689,600 per month; 
593,556,800 per year. Something is wrong. It is not so in other 
countries. I have been looking it up, and I have at home reports 
from more than twenty European countries relating to their internal 
affairs. In those countries the farmers prosper in about the same pro- 
portion that prosperity follows other lines of business; agriculture 
holds its own, and there is no more independent class of people in those 
countries than the farmers." 

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" Now, sjngalarljr enough, the most striking difference between 
those countries and ours is found in the condition of the cduntrj' roads. 
With them communication is easy and quickly accomplished. Their 
governments, instead of rolling up and hoarding a ridiculous surplus, 
spend large sums in the building and repairing of the country roads. 
The result is that in Europe the larmers drive 30 to 30 miles from 
home to market with immense loads, in all kinds of weather, at all 
seasons of the year and return home the same day. A European horse 
hauls twice as much as an American horse, dmply because the roads 
are much better. He can visit his neighbors at any time ; drive to 
town ; make social calls and enjoy all the personal advantages of a 
resident in the city and still maiauin the independence and pleasures 
of country life." 

"Nonsense," said Hubmire, "I'd like to seethe fairyland you're 
Ulking about. I have got Sve as good horses as ever pulled a strap, 
and I know how to take care of Ihem. I don't drive to town except- 
ing when the roads are good, and then, for hauling loads, my horses 
won't take a back seat for any man." 

" Hubmire," said I, with some impatience, " I see we can never 
agree on this question till we settle one important difference. You 
say you never drive to town until the roads are good. Now, leaving 
out the fact that you are losing plenty of good time while you wait for 
the mud to dry up, just tell me what you call a good road." 

"Well," said Hubmire, "any road is good enough for my horses 
when the mud begins to stiffen up so it will pack and roll under the 

" Then let me tell yon, Hubmire," said 1, " that you don't know 
what a good road is. You never saw a good road in all your life. A 
good road has no mud to dry, roll or pack. It is made hard and 
stays hard and smooth at alt times of the year, and when once made 
it is easier and cheaper to keep it in repair than any dirt road you ever 
saw." But Hubmire only smiled in his good-natured, doubting way, 
lighted his pipe and went out to do his evening chores. 


That talk with Hubmire troubled me a good deal. He is counted 
a sensible man in the community where he lives and I could see that his 
words reflected the judgment of thousands of farmers of whom he was an 
excellent type. The mud was then drying up in places, or, as Hubmire 
would say, it was beginning to "pack and roll under the wheel," and 

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one day, a week later, Hubmire drove to town with his stout span of bays 
and a load of hay. It wasn't a veiy big load for [he roads were still rutty, 
and aflcr Hubmire had got into the village the big bays were " pack- 
ing and rolling " the ruts with a little too much vigor when one of the 
whiffletrees broke. Hubmire drove down to the blacksmith's shop 
for necessary repairs, and while he was gone every horse and vagrant 
cow that came along nipped bis load. It stood alone and unprotected, 
and here is a photograph of that load, showing it exactly as it was. 

A month later I went up to see Hubmire again, feeling that I was 
somewhat better equipped to meet his peculiar style of argument I 
showed him this photograph of his abandoned load of hay. 

" Hubmire," said I, " whenever I see an American farmer with a 
load of hay tike that, I feel ashamed for my country. You hauled 
that load to market with your big bays. You thought the road was in 
fair condition, and it was one of those roads which you say is good 
enough because the 'mud will roll and pack under the wheel.' 
Right here is where we disagree. I told you awhile ago that the farm 
horses of Europe hauled twice as much as your horses, simply because 
the roads of that continent are better than ours. You seemed to ridi- 
cule the idea. I could not convince you by observation or experience 
and I have taken the trouble to bring you some pictures of European 
roads, showing them exactly as they are to-day. I have been fortu- 

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nate enough to find one which admirably serves the case in hand. 
Here is a picture taken from a photograph of a French road, showing 
a French fanner with his load of hay, on his way to market, 9 miles 

"It will do you good to look at this picture, and I am going to leave 
it with you for a little while. There are something like 4 tons of hay 
in that Frenchman's load, or about i^ ions for each horse. Notice 

the snr&ce of the road. It is hard and smooth, nicely sloped -in both 
directions so as to insure quick drainage; the wheel tires are two and 
a half times as wide as those on your wagon and they roll over the 
Burbce of the road in a manner that tends to make it hard and smooth 
instead of cutting and creating ruts as is alwavs the case when narrow 
tires are used. Notice the height of the load; it towers up among the 
trees, and its immense bulk gives it the appearance of an American 
haystack; compare its height with the height of the driver who walks 

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along by the roadside or with the siz; of the chaise which jma see 
coining along immediately behind. See how easily the horses jog 
along; they are moving as comfortably ai yon can wish, and there is 
no sign of tugging or straining in their movements. If you had a 
road like that from your farm to town, you might do all your hauling 
with two horses instead of the five you now have and save yourself 
an immense expense. 

" Now, I want to say to you, that the farmers of this country raised 
something like 45.000,000 tons of hay last year and eveiy pound of 
that hay was moved at an expense of twice as much power as ought to 
he necessary; and you must know, also, that this picture of a French 
road is by no means a special or uncommon one; such roads may be 
found anywhere among the better countries of Europe; France alone 
has about 130,000 miles of roads practically as good as this one, and 
yet her territory is only about four times as large as that of the State of 
New York. That Government spends #18,000,000 a year to keep 
these roads in repair. The French Republic has adopted an honest 
principle of State-craft by doing something Irom year to year in behalf of 
its farmers; it proceeds upon the theory that these roads are the property 
andcareof all the people; that they are a public necessity and one of the 
institutions of the Government; that the farmers alone should not bear 
the burden of making and repairing these lines of travel, which reach 
from country to town, since the prosperity of both town and country de- 
pend upon their condition in a most emphatic degree; that agriculture is 
everywhere the gauge of national thrift and that the permanent enrich- 
ment of the Republic must depend upon the fullest development of 
its resources. There is a good deal worth thinking about in this mat- 
ter of national policy. No country ever yet attained greatness whose 
^rmers were not great, and in these days of improvement and driving 
competition, the farmer has the same right to demand a means for sav- 
ing time, space, power, materials and expense as are accorded by the 
Government to other divisions of society. " 


1 had many ulks with Hubmire before I left the farm, and though 
he didn't seem to be quite convinced I could see that he had begun 
to think the matter over, and I am satisfied that Hubmire will work 
out a sound conclusion. He is a conservative fellow; but he has a 
slow, sure, tenacious and persevering way of thinking that is sure to 
land him on good ground when he starts in the right direction. 

I have told you of my experience with Hubmire because he is, in 

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many ways, a typical representative of your class, and what I said to 
him was, in my honest judgment, applicable to thousands of similar 
cases to be found in every county of the United Siates. 

The American farmer has nerve, vigor, ambition, industry, good 
soil, good climate and every natural facility for the successful pursuit 
of agriculture; but the average American farm is a lonely institution. 
Its owner is separated from his neighbors. largely denied the many 
social advantages which belong to people who are able to mingle with 
each other from day to day, kept at home from many gatherings, so- 
cial, political and religious, from which he might receive both pleas- 
ure and benefit. His sons desert the farm for the more profitable and 
enlightened conditions of city life, and the allurement of profit which 
is held out in every community of successful farmers is not so conspic- 
Qons in the United States to-day as to entice our farmer's sons from the 
greater promise of success offered by mercantile occupations. 

Farm property is no longer in active demand and investments which 
in other years would have sought the security afforded by farm mort- 
gages are now directed in other channels. Go to any of the large 
cities of the Union and you will find upon the books of the real estate 
dealers an endless array of notices of farms for sale or to exchange for 
city property. 

But 1 did not intend to digress. It will interest you to know more 
about the roads of France. In that country there is no such diversity 
between tlie material progress of the fiirmer and that of the merchant 
— between the country and the town — as is found in this country. 
The brmers prosper and have always prospered. Every dollar spent 
by the French Government to bring itself more closely in touch with 
its rural population, has been well invested. You remember that terrible 
war when from Prussia, the King, the warrior and the statesman led the 
German legions across the breadth of the French Empire and forced the 
capitulation of Paris; and how the brave Frenchmen were humiliated by 
the exacting terms of peace which their conquerors imposed. The im- 
mense tribute demanded by the Germans at the close of that war, now 
twenty years ago, was made up ftom moneys contributed in a wonder- 
full d<^ee by the French farmers, and the admiration of the world 
which their patriotism excited in the payment of that tribute, was not 
greater than the wonder which everybody felt at the ready thrift which 
bad enabled them to meet such enormous demands. 

Here is a picture showing a valley near one of the small villages 
in the interior of France. The scene is about 50 miles northwesterly 
from Paris, not far from Amiens, which many years ago was a fortified 

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■cily; but the ramparts have been torn down and replaced by splendid 
roadways, adding to the beauty and thrift of the city and to the con- 
venience and pleasure of its people. 

In the foreground you see the same kind of hard, smooth road that 
is shown in the last picture. In the distance, running down from the 
hills and through the valley, you see a white line of road, showing the 
various directions in which these roads run and the uniform appear- 
ance which their hard finished surfaces present 

Of course these roadsof France are not built by farmeis who "work 
out " their highway taxes after the manner followed in this country. 

nor are they repaired by the use of plows, hoes or scrapers like those 
which are brought into use at the annual former's picnic which takes 
place when you go oat to " work the road " in your township. On 
the contrary, they are built and kept up under a system which is per- 
haps the most perfect in the world. There is an official -in- chief, who 
takes charge of all the main roads of the Republic and requires from 
his subordinates complete reports at frequent intervals. In this manner 
information is always at hand showing the condition of the roads in all 
parts of the country. Of course, the work is divided into different 
.sections, which, in turn, are in charge of subordinate engineers or su- 

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peri men dents. Broken stone is furnished by contract, and considering- 
the amount of labor accomplished each year on the French roads, the 
cost is surprisingly small. The roads of our own States, at least the 
important roads, should be maintained in the same way. The incEfi- 
cicnt, haphazard and ridiculously expensive method which we have 
followed for the last hundred years, should have convinced us by this 
time of the nece^ity of change. Of course I may be wrong about 
this, because it has never yet been determined just how long it takes a 
great and intelligent people to twist itself out of the rut of an accepted 
and established blunder. Upon this point, a keen and witty observer 

of public affairs says: " A hundred years is a very little time for the 
duration of a national error, and it is so far from being reasonable to look 
for its decay at so short a date, that it can hardly be expected, within 
such limits, to have displayed ihe full bloom of its imbecility." 

When I write to you about these roads of Europe I know that 
you are apt to believe that these European countries are more wealthy 
than ours ; that they are more thickly populated ; more thoroughly 
cultivated; and that these splendid roads are built for the accommo- 
dation of only those farmers whose lands are highly cultivated ; but 

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in this yon are wrong. France is divided into eighty-seven " de- 
partments" or political divisions, which, in many respects, are not 
unlike onr counties. In eighty-one or these eighty-seven departments 
the population per square mile is less than that of the State of Rhode 
Island ; in seventy-eight it is less than the population per sqnare mile 
of Massachusetts ; in sixty-siz it is less than Uiat of New Jersey, while 
ifyoQ take the combined area of New York, Pennsylvania, Connecti- 

cut, Massachusette, Rhode Island and New Jersey it will appear that 
the average population per square mile of these States exceeds that of 
seventy out of the eighty-seven departments of France. Many of 
these departments in France are less populous than the thickly settled 
counties in our western States, but the uniform excellence of the roads 
is everywhere mainiained. On page 26 is a picture taken in one 
of the forests of France, where you see no signs of cnltivation and 
where many of the best farms are in fact some miles distant from town. 

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Yon see in this picture the same excellent quality of road as 
that which appears in the ones I have already shown you. 

Many years ago the French fanner had the same method <rf 
making and repairing the wagon roads that is followed in yoar county 
to-day. He quit farming for several days each year and "workedout" 
his road tax. 

Do you think he could be induced to go back to the old style of 
doing things I Look at the picture on page 37 copied from a photo- 
graph of a French road taken last year on the day after a heavy rain 
storm. The road surface is smooth and dry ; the tall poplars on either 
side have been trimmed to the upper branches 30 as to let in the sun 
and air and hasten the drying of the road after a storm. Then notice 
the heaps of broken stone on each side of the road. These are used 
by the workmen in making constant repairs from day to day whenever 
the least imperfection appears. 

In Belgium also the principal roads are built and maintained by 
the general government, and in 1880 in the nine provinces of Belgium 
over 79 per cent of the highroads were of this class, the entire length 
of high-class roads being 4,173 English miles, out of a total <rf 
five thousand two hundred and eighty-six of roads of all classes. The 
best roads of Belgium are in the provinces of Narour, Lidge and Lux- 
embourg, and permanent employees are kept on the roads under the 
direction of the chief engineer of the province, for the purpose of 
insuring the observance of the regulations and looking after the con- 
stant repair of the highways. 

In Baden the main roads are under the supervision of the State 
authorities, and are cared for with a studious regard for the require- 
ments of the farmer and inland travel. Under the law relating to 
roads in Baden, the duty of maintaining the road falls as follows : 
One quarter each upon the parish (town) and district (county) in 
which the road is situated. The remaining one-half upon the State 

In Hesse- Darmstadt the roads are divided into two classes, called 
State roads and district roads, of which the former are a direct care 
and charge upon the general government, and when the district roads 
become so important as to require the attention of State ofBcers, they 
can, under direction of the district assembly ("Kreistag") be declared 
State roads. Every district is bound to appoint the necessary officials 
connected with the district roads. These officials consist of a skilled 
person who must be capable of filling the oQice of district overseer and 
a proper force of laborers requisite for the work in hand. Annual 

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sums are allotted to each province oat of the Slate budget to pay the 
cost of making and maintaining the public roads. 

In Itaty the Minister of Public Works is at the head of the Depart- 
ment of Public Roads. The construction of these roads is, in most 
cases, undertaken by contracts, the work being carried on under 
direction of Government engineers. These contracts extend also to 
the work of maintenance and repair, and include the transport of ma- 
terials, the cost of earth works, embankments, drainage, masonry, iron- 
work, stonework, removal of snow, mud and dust and the care of 
border trees planted along the sides of the highways. The contractor 


is bound to deposit a fixed sum of money in the hands of the public 
officials, to insure the performance of his contract, and on the ter- 
mination of a contract, the road must be delivered up in perfect order 
and repair to answer the description contained in the specifications, 
and all defects becoming apparent within one month thereafter, are 
made good at the cost of the contractor, under an estimate of the 
chief engineer of the district The money deposit of the contractor is 
only returned to him upon the compliance of all the terms of his con- 
tract and in case of his neglect or refusal to execute the orders conveyed 

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to him hy the highway officials, the latter have power to direct the 
neceasaiy work to be carried on at the expense of the contractor. 
A repetition of such offense or the perpetration of any fault on the 
part of the contractor, results in the termination of his contract and the 
confiscation of his money deposit. The Government road laborers are 
called " Cantonniers " and are selected with great care, special refer- 
ence being had to character and honesty. They must be of robust 
constitution and must be able to read and write. Each one of these 
cantonniers is provided with a full set of tools and implements specified 
by law. His hours of work are from sunrise to sunset, and each day he 
is obliged to go over the entire track of road placed in bis charge. He 
must be constandy upon the line of his work in all kinds of weather, 
and in case of necessity, is bound to work on public holidays. His 
chief duties are the leveling and repair of the highways ; the removal of 
snow, mud, dust, etc. He mustassist travelers in distress and vehicles 
disabled by accident or by weather, and for any neglect of duty, he may 
be fined, suspended or dismissed, according to the degree of the 
offense. The fines accumulated during the year are divided among 
the deserving cantonniers or given to one of the mutual benefit associa- 
tions, of which they are members. Cantonniers who serve with credit 
and distinction for three or more years are promoted and given an in- 
crease of monthly wages. In the five years from 1873 to 1878, Italy 
spent about Ji6,ooo,coo on her roads, although before that appropria- 
tion was made, many excellent highways existed in all parts of ihe 
kingdom. In 1881 Italy constructed about 110 miles of new road 
and had then about 1 1,040 miles in course ofconslruction. Mention- 
ing the policy of the Italian Government with respect to its mainten- 
ance of the public roads, Mr. Beauclerk, representing the British 
Government at Rome in the year 1882, in his official report to the 
home cabinet, said : " It is therefore evident that the Italian Gov- 
" emmentare doing their utmost to develop rapidly and extensively the 
" means of communication in the kingdom, and there is little doubt 
" that the large outlay incurred, is fully justified by the increased 
" prosperity and wealth of the country." At that time, something 
more than 5,000 miles of roads were in charge of the Italian Govern- 
ment More than twenty-five hundred cantonniers were employed and 
their services were devoted to the care of all the national roads, ex- 
cept fi ve- 
in the Netherlands, as in the countries already mentioned, the prin- 
cipal roads are maintained at the expense of the State. 

In Portugal a similar rule is adopted. The State takes the responsi- 

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bility of the constntction, maintenance and service of all important 
roads connecting the provincial capiul and the principal frontier 
towns. The director of public works and skilled engineers have the 
principal direction of the Government work, relating to the common 


It is interesting to note that while some unimportant differences 
exist among European countries in the details of management and 
maintenance of the public roads, these countries are practically unani- 

mous in their policy of placing the important roads under the direct 
management of the general government and of paying the expenses of 
construction and maintenance out of the general funds of the Sute. 
The result has been most salutory. The splendid bcilities for the 
moving of travel and traffic over these improved roads, has proved the 
wisdom of placing thp important roads under the care of skilled engi- 
neers and workmen, and the object lesson thus taught has bome fruit 
in the wonderful improvement of the provincial road, which are main- 
tained under management of the local authorities. It is no uncommon 
thing in France, Baden, Germany, Austria or Italy to sec loads, weigh- 

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iiig in the aggregate from three to four times the load hanled by the 
ordinary farm team in our country, while the distances frequently 
traveled by the European draft horse with these immense loads are so 
much greater than the maximum attempted by the American farmer as 
to be almost beyond belief. On page 3 1 I show yon a picture repro- 
duced from a photograph, taken within the last year, upon one of the 
German roads. Here is a view showing a loaded two-wheeled cart, 
drawn by two horses, and bearing six large casks of winc^ a load 
weighing in the aggregate several tons. 

It needs only a casual view of this picture to show bow easily this 
immense load is rolled over the smooth surbce of the highway, and 
with what little effort the horses are able to perform their task. 
Thousands of miles of these roads exist in all parts of Europe ; and 
so jealously are they regarded that no policy of State Government 
seems to be in favor which does not include a proper care for the 
country roads. 

Two-wheeled carls are in very common use among the farmers of 
Europe, just as they are in some parts of our own country. They 
hitch their horses one before the other in " tandem " style, and most 
of their heavy loads are banted in this way. Now let me show you 
a picture of an American tandem work team with an American load 
on an American public highway. Here you have it : 

This [HCture was taken within five miles of the public buildings of 
one of the largest cities in the United States. The load contains only 


400 bricks, which is considerabl}' less than a fair load for one 
boTse on a good road. The team has stopped to "blow,". and 
double time is wasted in that way. These are the roads that make 
business unprofitable. They wear out horses, harnesses and humanity, 
kill patience, and keep you at the pnblic house, when a better road 
would enable you to quicken your trip and save expense by dining 
with your Family at home. 

Your old friend, Horace Greeley, used to enliven his argument for 
better roads by relating the story of a Tarmerwho took a drove of bogs 
a very long way to market, and found the delays and difficulties of 
his trip to be so expensive that he was compelled to dispose of 
bis hogs at a considerable loss. On reaching home one of his 
enterprising neighbors, who had some thought of trying the pork- 
- raising business himself, asked him how much he had cleared in bis 

" Well," he replied after some reflection, " I bad the company of 
the hogs." 

Now compare the Philadelphia picture on page 31 (I really didn't 
mean to disclose the name of that city) with the last one before it, and 
take note of the (act that the German load is fully five or six times 
as great as the American load, and that this difference is due 
entirely to the difference between the road surfaces shown in the 
two pictures. Yoo see there Is no theory or guesswork in this 
matter which is not doubly proved by actual facts. Yon can't afford 
to do business with no better hope of profit than " the company of 
the hogs." 

In lower Austria, i;ear Vienna, where the materia] for road-making 
is not found to be conveniently at hand, the Government offered a veiy 
substantial reward a few years ago for the discoveir of a solid and 
suitable substance which might be used in the improvement of the 
roads. The Austrians employ several thousand road cleaner* regu- 
larly, together with a suitable number of inspectors and maintain a 
system of continual repair, clearing off the dust and mud as fast as it 
accumulates, and repairing the slightest defect in the road, so as to 
prevent the formation of ruts. 

In Hungary the State roads are under the management of the min- 
istry of pnbUc works, while the country and parish roads are kept np 
by local management. 

In Bavaria the Government roads are made and kept in repair at 
the expense of the State, the money being voted by the legislative 
bodies of the Landt^. To prevent these roads being cut np a strin* 

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gent law is enforced against the nse of narrow wheel tires, and the 
width of tire to be used is laid down as follows:* 

Two wheel wagon with two horses 4iDchei. 

Two " " three or four horses 6 " 

Four " " bortes 3} " 

Fonr " " three or four horaee 4 " 

Fi»« " " five to eight horses 6 " 

Carts having more than foar horses, and wagons having more than 
eight are not allowed upon the public roadi^ except by special per- 
mission obtained from the anthorities of the province. Fruit trees are 
planted along the sides of the roads under &vorable conditions, and 
these are ^ven into the care of the roadmen with permisaion to 
exhibit at the various fairs, where prizes are awarded for excellence of 
the samples. 

I have beard American farmers say that they were opposed to hav- 
ing the public roads put in charge of civil engineers ; that they had no 
desire to be "scientific" and were opposed to "sciendfic" manage- 
ment of the public roads. I think I have heard you say this. Let 
me tell you in the most friendly way in the world that yon could not, 
to save your soul, help being scientific. You are scientific when you 
paint your house, put tallow on your boots, grease on your wagon- 
axle, hone your razor, smoke your hams, fumigate your hennery, or 
take peppermint for the stomach ache. That patent incubator of yours 
is a perfect marvel of science. It is not wise to think a roan ia more 
scientific than yon are simply because he may know a thing or two in 
his particular line of business which you do not He might object to 
your knowledge for the same reason, for in many things your superior 
wisdom makes you more scientific than be is. Besides, your average 
civil engineer is likely to be one of the best fellows in the world -^ and 
if he is worth his salt you will find him wide-awake, practical and in- 
teresting ; democratic in his ways, plain in his dress, and with a head 
full of good sense. He is always looking for ideas and he will con- 
cede your superior knowledge of fiirming and be glad to learn of any 
valuable thing that you may tell bim. He may not know the differ- 
ence between timothy and mullen stalks but he can show-you how to 
build a road as good as the best in the world and one that will last for 

■Tha* widdu m here «cpn»ed in mch« lor tha coavnicnce of the Avorioui reader. 
miey are reduced from ihe dinibHQiit givat in tbe Bavariui BUtute. where the* are e jp r me d 
Id cnilmurca. The dimeniioiii given above are pracdcaUy Iha laue ai ipaciGed in Iha ualnu, 
■h* crMlot vaiialton befa^ aboat ODa-tenth of an inch. 

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forty generations. He will tell you that it needs something besides 
horse power, asle-grease and profanity to move a loaded wagon from 
farm to market ; that the harder and smoother your road is made the 
shorter your distance becomes from farm to town, and the less power 
will be required to haul your produce. 

Did you ever wonder why it is that ihe great railroads of ihe 
country are constantly improving their roadbeds, adopting im- 
proved rails and employing "section gangs" to constantly keep 
their tracks in the best condition ? I will tell you why it is. 
Years ago it was found that the cost of running a great railroad 
line was decreased by every improvement which tended to lessen the 
grades and make the track smooth and hard ; and the best engineer- 
ing talent in the world has been employed to bring these railroads lo 
iheir present condition of excellence. Twenty-five years ago, before 
the general adoption of the long, solid-faced steel rail, the power re- 
quired to move the rolling stock was considerably greater than at 
present. In 1870 it cost the New York Central Railroad Company 
about one and one-sixth cents to move each ton of Ireight over i 
mile of railroad. This seems a very small sum, but as small as it may 
appear it was reduced in i88p to about five mills. Other railroad lines 
show a corresponding decrease in running expenses, all due to the im- 
provement of the tracks or roadbed. 

The practical conclusion is this : a good roadbed pays ; it 
saves power, shortens distance and time, increases speed, insures 
comfort and safety, and is, in whatever way you state it, a good 
investment Now, the wagon by which you haul your loads to 
market bears the same relation to the road that the railroad 
car bears to the steel track ; the car and the wagon are both vehicles, 
and in the earlier da}S of railway traffic railway cars were drawn by 
horses just as wagons are drawn upon the common road, and just as 
street cars are now drawn in the cities. The ordinary street car, drawn 
by two horses, weighs 5,000 pounds ; the open car used in summer 
will seat fidy passengers, weighing 7,000 pounds; total, 12, coo 
pounds, or 6 net tons, and this load is drawn by a team at the rate of 
6 miles an hour without difficulty. The wheels of your wagon are 
made round and true ; they turn upon axles as smooth and well 
lubricated as those of a car ; your horses are as good as those em- 
ployed in the street car service, and you have every facility for moving 
large loads quickly and cheaply, except the single requirement of a 
good road. Of course I do not intend to argue that wagon loads can 
be hauled upon a high-class road as cheaply as upon the steel railroad 

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track, but I have shown you enough to convince yoa that ihe ordinary 
dirt road is in no uay fitted (or your business and [hat a wonderful 
contrast exists between such a road and the well-made highwa)sof 
other countries. 

Anoihei thing which your engineer will teach you is that work lo 
be done cheaply must be done in a systematic way ; that the cheapest 
way to care for a road and to keep it in repair is to place it in charge 
of some person who will be held responsible for its condition through- 
out the entire year. In your township the roads are mended or 
' ' worked " once, or at the most twice a year, and for the balance of 
the season are neglected. Even when the warm weather of spring has 
dried up a considerable portion of the road so as to make it fairly 

passable, great mud holes are found here and there in which the 
farmers frequently become stuck with heavy loads, causing no end of 
delay and trouble. Here is a picture taken on one of the busiest farm 
roads in this country, showing just the kind of mud hole I am writing 
abouL This picture was taken long after the frost had left the ground 
and it simply shows the kind of neglect which exists all over this 
country and which grows out of the inefficient, shiftjess and irrespon- 
sible methods by which our country roads are cared for. A chain is 
no stronger than its weakest link and a road is little better than its 
deepest mud- hole. 

If you look at this picture you will see that the bank slopes off on 
either side toward the creek which runs under the bridge. Twenty 

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minutes' work with a pick and shovel would have drained that water 
from the road, and yet it had stood there for several days at the time 
when this picture was taken. 

You miglit be able to haul a ton of hay over that dirt road for a 
mile on either side of this mud-hole and yet jour team would be stuck 
at this point with a load of half that size. 

And so you see that this is, al^er all, an important question and 
one which most of all concerns the farmer. Look at it in another 
way. Suppose that you and half a dozen of your clear-headed neigh- 
bors should form a kind of partnership and make a contract with al! 
the other farmers in your county by which you should be required 
for a period of ten years to do all the hauling of farm produce 
belween country and town. You would find that under present 
conditions you would have to feed and care for ten thousand horses 
every day ; that you would have five thousand wagons to keep in re- 
pair, besides an immense number of harnesses ; that you would be 
required to employ a great number of drivers ; that your bills for 
horse feed, harnesses, repairs, blacksmithing, etc., etc., would be a 
constant and enormous drain upon your resources, and that for several 
months in each year your work would be done at an enormous loss. 
Suppose that you should sit down with your copartners lor the pur- 
pose of devising a way of curtailing expenses and making the business 
profitable. Clearly enough the first suggestion in order would be that 
of reducing the number of horses and hired help and of devising some 
way by which more and quicker trips could be made and larger loads 
hauled between farm and market. There is one way in which this 
could be done and which stands prominently above all others, and I 
will leave you to consider what that is. Every State is a kind of part- 
nership, a kind of corporation, in which we all hold more or less slock, 
and in which, as intelligent citizens, it is our duty to devise means for 
carrying on the State business with as little loss and as much gain as 


You know that the great volume of internal trade in every State is 
the common road trade. It exceeds by millions of tons the entire 
carrying trade of the railroads; for, in addition to the fact that the 
great volume of freight carried by the railroads is, in the first instance, 
carted in one form or another over the common highways of the coun- 
try, you know that enormous quantities of produce of all kinds are 
wheeled over the common roads under the requirements of local trade 

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in niral sections, and (hat these vast quantities of produce consumed 
in the local market have no connection whatever with the railroad 
traffic. And so it becomes important to inquire in what manner this 
great carrying trade which is constantly going on over the common 
roads and which supplies not only the immense freighting business of 
the great railroads, but the more important inter-communication be- 
tween neighbors in the local market, can be carried on with best 
facilities and with least cost I have tried to show you that upon this 
question of economy the great railroad corporations of the country 

have established a valuable precedent Each of these corporations is in 
the business to make money. TTicir one object is to give little and 
get much; and yet, in spite of the gradually reduced rales charged by 
the great trunk lines to the general public, they have steadily in- 
creased in prosperity till the enormous wealth of many of these com- 
panies has become the wonder of the century. These railroad cor- 
porations began business in a crude, undeveloped, and in some cases 
unsystematic way. Their desire for gain sharpened their wits ; they 
experimented, and by experiments they found that the greatest sav- 
ing of expense in the management of their railroads was to be attained 
by the adoption of easy grades and by adding to the smoothness and 

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hardness of the roadbed. These two qualities of smoothness and 
hardness are the essentials of a good wagon road. You cannot have 
and. keep such roads without good laws and inlelUgent supervision. 
Here is another picture, showing one of the roads of Brittany. Did 
you ever see a road like that? 

It is made to last for all time, and is kept in repair at half the cost and 
labor expended on the average dirt road of this country. It is looked 
after with the same system and care that are bestowed in the manage- 
ment of the other departments of government, and every farmer living 
on the long line of that splendid roadway is happy and independent 
in the consciousness that he is every day and every way in touch with 
the great world of business and society. 


It may be interesting for you to know that the exact difference in 
power required to move a given load over different kinds of road sur- 
face, has been determined many times, and so often verified as to be 
well settled. From these experiments you may know that on the 
smooth surface of a Macadam road one hotse will haul twice the load 
that the same horse could haul on the best dirt road, and from five to 
ten limes as much as can be hauled by a single horse when the dirt 
road is covered with soft mud and ruts. From this you will under- 
stand that the value even of a dirt road depends very largely upon its 
condition and the care with which it is kept in good repair. 

And right here, I must say to you, that the great destroyers of the 
common earth roads are water and narrow wheel tires. In the first 
place, these roads are, as a rule, wretchedly drained, or in many cases 
not drained at all. If a deep side ditch could be maintained on each 
side of the ordinary dirt road, and kept clear so as to receive and 
carry off the running water, the quality of the road would be im- 
proved, in most cases loo per cent. This is a point which farmers 
seem to meagerly understand, or, at all events, one which they rarely 
put to practical use. Water has no place in any road, good or 
bad. It is more hurtful than any other agent of destruction. It 
should be carried off and out of every road as soon as it &lls if 
possible. Now, as to wheel tires, let me remind you that you said a 
little while ago that a road was good enough for your purpose when- 
ever the mud would roll and pack under the wheel; and by this I 
understand that you look upon your wheel as a roller. So it is. 
Every road becomes smooth by the application of a roller, and this 
emoothing process is hastened or retarded by the quality of the roller 

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itself If you have a wheel tire i^ inches wide, like those upon your 
farm wagon, every time you go down the road with a ton of produce, 
j*3ur wagon wheels sink into the soft mud, form ruts and tend to keep 
the road in a rough condition. Your i^-inch "roller" will not 
profitably exert its rolling qualities until the mud becomes nearly dry. 
A wider wheel lire would serve your purpose much better; aiid if the 
farmers of your county would use wheel tires 3 or 4 inches wide, as 
are used abroad, your dirt road would be rolled into passable condi- 
tion in half the time that is now required to accomplish this result. 

Next to water, nothing is so destructive of a good road surface as 
a heavy vehicle running on narrow wheels. It has been proven over 
and over again that wheels with 4i-inch tires cause only one-half the 
wear on a road that results from the use of wheels with i^inch tires. 
It used to be the rule in England to make the tire t inch wide for 
every 500 pounds of load or'vehicle ; that is, if the vehicle and load 
weighed z tons, 4-inch tires would be used ; but it was not found 
profitable to increase the width much beyond 41- inches, except in 
cases were wagons were used without springs, when they were some- 
times made as wide as 6 inches. 

You ought to treat this matter of wheel tires as yon do other 
things in which you are interested, and give it the same sensible con- 
sideration that you apply to the things about your home. When you 
built your house you commenced by putting down a 16-inch stone 
foundation, and on that you buiit the framework of the super^ruciure. 
You made the foundation broad to prevent the settling of a load 
which was intended to remain unmoved as long as it should last, and 
yet you should know that the weight per inch upon that foundation is 
less than one>quarter the weight per inch upon your narrow wheel 
tires when you go to market with a heavy load, to say nothing of the 
fact that your wagon carries a moving load and is therefore much 
more likely to disturb the foundation than though it remained quiet. 
Your wheel tire is designed to touch the ground at one point only, 
and when it is pressed into the earth so as to increase this point of 
contact, the power required to move a wagon and its load increases 
very rapidly. Vou should use wide-wheel tires, and should encourage 
your neighbors to use them also. 

Another thing in connection with the use of dirt roads is this : the 
ruts in every dirt road are multiplied and made deeper and more 
troublesome simply because the bind wheels of the ordinary farm 
wagon ' ' track " the front ones ; that is, when the wagon goes straight 
ahead a small rut is made by the front wheels, and the hind wheels 

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coming along in the same track enlarge and deepen the rut. Now 
you may easily see that if the hind wheels were placed a couple of 
inches farther apart than the front wheels, ihey would tend to rub out 
or wear off the edges of the ruts made by the front wheels, and the 
result would be that the roads would sooner become smooth and pass- 
able. You never saw wagon ruta at a turn in the road, did you? The 
reason of this is that when a wagon is turning the hind wheels do not 
follow in the tracks made by the front wheels. On these three points 
of bad drainage, narrow-wheel tires and "tracking" wheels hang many 
of the miseries and defects of a dirt road. 

Two years ago the people living in the suburbs of a Pennsylvania 
town put down a mile or two of material intended for "Macadam." 

It was a fairly good substance, but wholly unlike Macadam in form 
and finish, and, worst of all, it was left to settle and harden under the 
wagon wheels of passing traffic. In a short time the narrow-wheet 
tires worked the usual result, and several lines of deep ruts were 
formed, running throughout the entire length of the new roadway. 
Here is a picture of that road as it appears to-day. It shows more 
clearly than any argument I might offer the evil done by narrow- 
wheel tires. 


Sometimes I hear it charged by thoughtless farmers that the rail* 
roads are largely responsible for the existing misfortunes of hrm life, 
and that the freighting of grain and similar products from the im- 

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mense and fertile farms bordering along railroad lines at low rates, has 
liilied the business of farmers who own smaller and less productive 
farms, and shut them out of competition. I have also beard the oppo- 
site view maintained by oiher farmers, who assert that the railway 
freights are altogether loo high, and that if these were reduced a 
farmer could ship his produce to distant points and still realizea com- 
fortable profiL The railroad is the best friend the farmer ever had. 
It has enriched this counlry beyond a limit that could possibly have 
been attained before railroads were constructed. Your grandfather 
used to haul wheat 200 miles in a farm wagon and sell it for thirty- 
five cents a bushel. His farm had no fence to inclose it ; his stock 
were protected by only a most primitive shed, and everything about 
his home life was conducted on a miserable and undeveloped scale. 
If you are living 6 miles from a railroad on an upland farm with 
gravelly soil, you cannot expect to raise corn and wheat as cheaply as 
the farmer who plants his crops in the black loam of the praiiie and 
Teaps a thousand acres at every harvest His farm is perhaps close to 
the railroad station, and the railroad will haul his grain from Chicago 
to New York at twenty cents per 100 pounds, and make a hand- 
some profit by the operadon. With that sort of competition you will 
never grow rich at farming. Don't concern yourself loo much about 
through freights. Look out for local freights and the cost of transpor- 
tation right at home in your own county. It costs you more money to 
haul a ton of produce from your farm to the railroad station than it 
costs the railroad company to haul the same amount 1,500 miles. You 
are both using the same power. The main difference is in the track. 
When you are about to buy a steam engine to perform a given service 
the manufacturer tells you Chat you need an engine of say ten "horse- 
power." Steam tugs, passenger boats, steam pumps, steam locomo- 
tives, and all kinds of steam engines are rated according to the 
"horse-power" which tbey develop. All this came from the old cus- 
tom of ascertaining the exact amount of work which a horse could do 
under certain conditions and comparing it with the steam engine. 
You haul your loads to market by horse-power ; and if you give your 
horse-power the same chance to work its results to the be&t advan- 
tage, you will find that local expenses and home freights will be 
diminished in a wonderful degree. 

Another thing ; if you find it unprofitable to raise wheat and oais 
try garden vegetables or dairy farming ; raise fruits and berries and sell 
them at home at the nearest market. The distant farmer who works 
the mellow soil of the prairie cannot deliver fresh fruits and vegetables. 

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eggs, butler and milk at your connty seat as cheaply as you can do it, 
nor in most cases can he do so at all. Study the capacity oF your 
farm and see if your soil and other conditions are not adapted to this 
kind of industry. One thing you must remember, however, it is an 
indispensable condition to the successful market gardener and dairy 
farmer that he should deliver his goods in the local market regularly at 
all seasons of the year, without regard to weather or the condition of 
the roads. Wherever a large town is found in which any sort of thrift 
has been established, there is a demand for the best quality of farm 
produce. Fresh butter, eggs, vegetables and fruits, if raised close at 
hand command a much better price than those brought from a distance 
and suhjected to the trials of railroad freighting, delays and repeated 
handling. The distant farmer cannot compete with you in these lines 
and if your town customers can be made to see that the home supply 
is reliable and constant, the home farmers will control that market 

Last March (1891) the Government at Washington issued a very 
interesting census bulletin on the subject of "Truck Farming." 
Every farmer should read it. I will quote from the last paragraph of 
this bulletin, just enough to show you a bit of enlightened opinion on 
the point which I have just been urging. The author says : 

"Taken in its entirety, this comparatively new industry is found 
" to be in a healthy, prosperous condition. New sections are being 
" developed from year to year that to a certain extent affect the pros- 
"perity of some of the older ones, and there is likely to be more or 
" less shifting of trucking centers every few years, all upon advancing 
"lines, however. New and belter methods of culture, with the future 
"invention of labor-saving machinery, must of necessity reduce the 
"cost of production. Better Iransportaiion facilities will place the 
"products of these farms in cities and towns more promptly, in better 
"condition, and at less cast, while the ever increasing poptdalion and 
"toeaith of the cities and towns insure a greatly increased consumption 
' ' at satisfactory prices for first-class productions. " 


Of course you know that the distance of any farm from the nearest 
market affects its value. If located within a short distance of the 
town, it is worth much more than a farm of ihe same quality six miles 
distant. The reason of this is that the farmer nearest the town has 
many advantages which the more remote farmer has not. He can 
haul his load to market in a shorter time and save much labor in mar- 

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keting his crops. His social advantages are increased and he is pos- 
sessed of many opportunities which would have been denied him had 
his Tarm been located any considerable distance from the town. But 
you know also that nothing shortens distance and saves time lo the 
traveler as improved methods of quickening traffic and the means of 
transit upon which the traveler relies. It used to be a long week's 
journey for the American farmer to travel two hundred miles by wagon 
road to the nearest city, and since the railroad enables him to cover the 
same distance in five hours, he feels that his farm and home are so- 
much nearer lo the great center of trade and that its value has been 
enhanced accordingly. If you could drive over the sis miles of wagon- 
road between your house and the village in one hour at all times of 
the year, and haul a full load of farm produce into the bargain, you. 
would feel your farm has been moved considerably nearer the market 
than it now seems to be and its value would feel the benefit of that 
difference. There is no guess work about this statement. It is a 
result which has always followed the construction of good roads. I 
could tell you of a hundred instances, but one or two will answer our 
purpose here. 

Not very many years ago, in the State of New Jersey, there were 
three or four small towns in which the community was made up of a 
plodding population in moderate circumstances, doing business on a 
low scale, in accordance with their poor facilities for communicalion. 
When the mud was hub deep the patient New Jersey farmer who lived 
in those towns stayed at home and waited for the roads to dry up. No 
matter what might be the prevailing prices in town, he had no means 
of taking substantial advantage of them. Meanwhile, the consumers- 
tn the cities and villages depended in a measure upon the supply of 
country produce raised in that vicinity, and in times when the farmers 
were lied up by the bondage of bad roads, they were oppressed by a 
slack supply and consequently by enhanced prices. Trade was uncer- 
tain and farming was carried on with indifferent success. If you could 
go with me to those towns to-day you would find a marvelous trans- 
formation. From a collection of farms at one time connected by dirt 
roads, there has, in the last few years, sprung up one of the richest 
farming and residence localities in the United States. Many rich 
people have moved their homes to these towns and a flourishing con- 
dition of things has taken the place of the easy going and slip-shod 
methods wfiich existed in the days of the dirt roads. The prime 
reason of all this improvement is familiar to every resident who hves. 
in those towns to-day. The beginning of prosperity began with the 

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construction of ihe tirst improved road. Land values increased, 
traffic was quickened and enlarged, social cominunication became 
more easy and more frequent, schools, churches, shops, market places 
and railroad stations became more accessible and the country in con- 
sequence more attractive as a place of residence. 

One of the oldest inhabitants of that section*, in an inlerview re- 
lating to the roads in his county, a short time ago, made a practical 
explanation which his long residence and familiar knowledge makes 
worthy to be repeated. He stated that the common idea that the roads 
of these towns are well paved because rich people had come there was 
erroneous, and declared that rich men had come there simply because 
the roads wer-; well paved ; that it had been found by the New Jersey 
people of his town that a team could pull twice as much over a smooth 
road as over the average dirt road and pull it twice as rapidly ; that he 
himself had teams at the time of that interview hauling stone to the 

new "Prudential Building," and that these teams were drawing 6,500 
pounds to a load ; that he knew by experience that the roads which 
they were using were hard and smooth and that these teams could not 
draw more than 3,000 pounds over the dirt road. Speaking of the 
general increase of land values brought about by the adaption of im< 
proved roads in the State of New Jersey, the same gentleman went on 
to mention the result of good roads in Union County, New Jersey, and 
stated that a few years ago certain lands belonging to his own brother 
{about 123 acres) was valued at from $50 to $75 an acre, but that the 
owner was unable to sell it at even that price. The farm was un- 
profitable; bad roads made it difficult and expensive to get the farm 
products to market and the profits were insufficient to pay a fair rate 
of interest on the estimated value of the land. Every day that he 
owned that farm be became poorer. 

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One day ihe " road improvement craze " took hold of the people 
in Union County, and about sixty miles of Telford roads were put 
down. The result was that his brother had just received an offer of 
$200 an acre for Ihe old farm which he had vainly offered to sell for 
from $50 to $75 per acre. Moreover, the farm became profitable. 

To be sure, there was a little increase of taxes, but the owner of a 
farm the value of which had been increased $125 per acre could hardly 
complain of the slight increase of taxes, which was, after all, quite in- 
considerable. The whole subject was summed up by a statement in 
these words: "Why, there are fully 600 miles of Telford roads in the 

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"State of New Jersey, and I know what I am talking about when I 
" s&y that lie increase in land values brought about in Union County alone 
" wouJd pay six times oiver Ike cost of every foot of stone road put down in 
•'Ike State." 

Last month I received a photograph showing one of the roads oE 
Union County, and I am glad to be able to produce it here for your 
benefit The next lime you are besieged and tied up at home by bad 
roads just sit down and look at this picture, and take my assurance 
that you can have just as good ones in your county if ever yon have 
the courage to go about it 

At another time the same gentleman stated a little incident in his 
personal expeiience which might well be here related. He said that 
a few years previous he had bought forty-five acres of land for $1,500 
per acre not far from Orange. lie opened up the land and put in the 
best kind of Telford road. This, with other improvements, brought 
the expense of the land up to about $10 a from fool. He sold that 
land pretty nearly as fast as he could draw np the deeds and none of 
it brought less than $30 a front foot. The party from whom he had 
purchased the forty-five acres still owned seventeen acres on the other 
side of the road and had offered it for sale at $>, 200 per acre before' 
the new road was put down. A year later the purchaser of the forty- 
live acres bought the seventeen acre piece at $2,000 an acre, and in 
less than two months afterwards sold enough of it to pay the purchase 
price and the cost of all improvements, and still retained a portion of 
the seventeen -acre piece (or which he was then offered $100,000, He 
adds: "This is only one instance of what road improvement has done 
" for me, and it will act the same way for any individual or any com- 
" munity that takes it up in an intelligent way." 

Let me cite another instance showing the benefits resulting from 
improved roads ; this one in the State of Indiana. 

In Parke County, in that State, much improvement in this line has. 
been shown, and the practical results of good roads have created a 
general demand for their extension in other parts of the county. It 
used to be the custom of farmers in that section to ' ' work " the roads 
in the same manner and with the same ignorant attention to the work 
in hand that had been given it by their fathers and fore&thers away 
back to the feudal times in English history. They went out on that 
streak of disturbed soil which by force of custom theycalleda "road," 
and under pressure of annual assessment proceeded to scrape and 
maul the soil for three or four honrs per day. When the farmer wa» 
too busy to indulge in this annual diversion with the neighbors, it was 

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permitted that two of his boys were allowed as a substitute for their 
father, and one of these "substitutes," writing at a later day, says : 
"It was as good as a holiday." One day it came to pass that two or 
three theorists and cranks began to talk to the people of Parke County 
about constructing turnpikes and gravel roads. They were met by 
arguments which the good people of Parke County would be ashamed 
to have repeated here, and they made few converts. Finally one en- 
thusiast in the county built a mile of gravel road and paid for it out of 
his private purse. He was a radical on the road question and wished 
to convince his neighbors ; but they only made fun of his efforts and 
plunged along in the mud till it became apparent that there was only 
one mile of good road in the entire county. This mile of good road 
preached a powerful sermon. It was a better argument and made 


more converts than all that had been talked and written to those 
people for generations. A wave of common sense rolled over into 
Parke County which contained at that time the muddiest road in the 
State. A few enterprising people led the movement tor an improve- 
ment of this road, and in a short time a solid highway was completed 
over which the farmers drew their loads with ease, pleasure and profit. 
This road was the second convincing argument in that part of the 
county and it routed the opposition. The people found that nothing 
served to increase their individual and collective prosperity so much as 
good roads, and in a few years seven splendid gravel pikes were com- 
pleted, all leading to the county seat, while all main roads in the 
■county and the worst portions of the cross roads were well graveled. 

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A writer*, whose early years were spent in this county, relating the 
great benefit which accrued by reason of the better system of roads, 
writes as follows : 

"The common roads were also greatly improved, and to one who 
" left the country, as I did in 1867, and crossed it only by rail till 1879, 
" the change was wonderful. Country travel had become a delight 
" Those who had been there all the time could not appreciate it so 
"highly, and the 'old fogies 'were still kicking against every new 

" To me there was something amusing in noting how many results 
" there were which no one had anticipated. Of course the formers 
" hauled much bigger loads, and did it in March more easily than in 
" August; wagons lasted a great deal longer; horses were rarely injured, 
" and so it paid to keep better stock, and, what was of very great im- 
" porlance, markets could be reached at any season. But the most 
" striking results were purely social, so much so as to suggest a revised 
"text, thus: 'Easy communications increase good manners.' Good 
" highways are certainly the prime factor in civilization. 

"The farmers, formerly isolated for weeks together, discovered 
" that they could go where they would with ease, and at the very 
" season when they had the most leisure. To ride a (ew miles after 
" supper was an actual pleasure, and soon almost every school dis- 
" trict had its social or religious, literary or political organization, and 
" some had all four. There were lyceums, lectures and joint debates, 
" recitations and amateur theatricals — something really instructive and 
" entertaining within a few easily- cove re li miles of the farmer for half 
" the evenings of the winter. The Quakers of ihe northern township 
" soon had a regular series of literary contests; the people of two 
" villages got up very creditable musical societies, while the 'young 
" ' folks of Raccoon Valley ' capped the climax by taking theabandoned 
" Bridgeton church, refitting it in semi theatrical style and giving a 
" feirly good season of the ' legitimate drama.' 

"Now it is quite the common thing for a popular lawyer or other 
"professional from the county seat to ride out 10 or ra miles after 
" business hours, deliver a lecture to a crowded district school-house, 
" and canter home by lale bedtime. There has been a general 
" 'brightening up.' The winter, once so gloomy to the isolated 
" farmer, is now ihe season when he really lives. Another remarkable 
" effect was to create a sort of fuior for elegant turnouts. That 

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" county was long noted in the adjacent cities as the best market in 
" the country for line buggies and carriages, and at the county fair 
" one may see hundreds of farmers' families in vehicles so elegant as 
" to attract attention and excite ciiticism, indeed, for a writer in one of 
" the county papers laiely alleged that ' the only trouble with the 
" 'fonners is that they have been extravagant ' 

"The improvement in 'roadsters' is remarkable. Now that a 
" trotter is no longer liable to break his leg or his neck, indeed, on a 
" country road, one can afford to put some money in him ; there are 
" several noted stables in the county, and the ' Rockville track ' ranks 
" high in that racing circuit These are a few of the many incidental 
" advantages. No doubt some of these improvements would have 
" come in time anyhow, but a very great deal must he credited to the 
" five gravel roads." 


In January, 1890, the New York semi-weekly Tribune published a 
communication from Mr. D. A. Barke, who stated that the town of 
Sweden, Monroe County, N. Y., then owned a stone crusher and 
hired men by the day to run it In the spring of 1889 the town 
appropriated f z,ooo to crushed stone, and according to Mr. Barke's 
estimate this sum was sufficient to furnish stone for 5 miles of per- 
fect road. The stone was donated and the town paid for hauling and 
crushing, while the different road districts hauled the crushed stone 
from the pile and put it upon the roads where needed. Mr. Barke 
continues ; " I think that money thus expended goes ten times as far 
as any other in making highways. In the last three years the town 
of Sweden has made about zo miles of road so good that a team 
can haul as large a load in this open muddy weather as in summer. 
The land is clay and the roads not laid with stone or gravel are 
simply fearful. It would pay a person to go a long distance to see 
what has been done to the roads in the town of Sweden. When 
the roads are all made with crushed stone and fences removed 
from the bleak places where snow drifts, the millennium will not be 
far away, " 

Another thing ; you ought to have roads that you could be proud 
of. If there is any improvement in yoiir town or county which makes 
it worth mentioning, you are bound to tell of it You never saw an 
American town having good roads whose people did not know that 
their town was superior to yours ; they know the value of a good road 

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and they talk aboat it I have been telling yon what Mr. Nevins 
says about the Orange roads in New Jersey and what Mr. Beadle aays 
about the improved roads in Parke County, Indiana. You see that 
they are both proud of the fact that they belong to progressive com- 
munities ; their children can go to school when yours cannot; their 
wives and daughters can visit the neighbors, attend church, go to the 
village and get a little of the pleasures of hfe, while youra are shut up 
at home by the overwhelming bondage of bad roads. In spring and 
fall they are engaged in a continual war&re to keep the house clear 
of mud that is tracked in by everybody who steps outside the limits of 
the door-yard. The carpets become filled with grit which tends to 
wear them out in one-half the lime they would otherwise last, and 
your clothing suffers in a similar way. In summer it is dust instead 
of mud, but in whatever time of year you take it, a dirt road is not 
only an intolerable expense to the farmer but an intolerable labor- 
making nuisance to the farmet's wife. Somehow it seems to be a 
common notion among farmers that a dirt road when dried by the 
summer sun and worn into fairly good condition by passing vehicles, 
is as good a wagon road as can be had for the purposes of farm traffic. 
This is a stupendous mistake. Every dirt road sinks more or less at 
the point of contact with the wheels of a heavy wagon. If the road is 
composed of soft material the depression is, of course, greater, but 
whether of soft gravel or clay it always exists in some degree. Many 
years ago an instrument was made, a kind of "spring balance" by 
which it could be ascertained exactly what power was necessary to 
haul a loaded wagon over roadways made of different kinds of ma- 
terials. This instrument has been made in different forms and used 
on hundreds of different occasions, so that its results were proven to 
be of great value. It was found by these experiments that a horizontal 
force required to draw a wagon and load of 21 hundred weight over 
a "Telford" road was only 46 pounds, showing that the load was 
fifty-one times greater than a power required to haul it To 
haul the same load upon a gravel road (laid on earth) required a 
power of 147 pounds or three time that found necessary on the Tel- 
ford road. These results show that the hauling of loads upon gravel 
roads, which are commonly believed by the farmers to be as good as 
any, cost about three times as much as upon a well-made Telford 
road. The experiments which I am telling you about were some- 
what extended, and their results were so interesting that they might 
well be studied by every person interested in the improvement of 
counuy roads. 

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A bill was introduced one day in the Legislature at Albany to 
provide for the construction of improved roads in the Slate of New 
York. It was proposed that the main roads should be constructed 
and kept in repair by a general State tax; that a non-partisan com- 
mission should be appointed to supervise the laying out of these roads. 
Some of the opposition to that bill came from farmers who said they 
were opposed to having the public money spent by commission. It 
was a foolish objection. You will pardon me if I say that the farmer 
is not the only honest man in the world. No man has a monopoly of 
virtue. Every dollar of the thousands of millions collected by the 
United States Government, is collected by a public officer or a com- 
missioner ; every penny of the thousands of millions of dollars spent 
for government uses is spent by a public servant of some kind. 
Honesty is more popular than it used to be ; there is less stealing in 
high places. Every administration for the last fifty years has improved 
upon the one which preceded it in the handling of public money. 
The population has been growing bigger ; public methods have been 
systematized ; the duties of public officers made more exacting and 
the number of defalcations is so small as lo be hardly worth consider- 
ing. The political parties are watching each other and are ever on 
the alert to find something wrong in each others camp. 

It is right that the State Government should take care of the main 
roads just as the State Governments care for the main roads in other 
countries. Another thing, it is eminently right that the next gen- 
eration should pay something toward the expense of constructing 
these roads. Your children and grandchildren will enjoy the benefits 
of these roads, and their property will be made valuable by their con- 
struction. Your State is practically out of debt and your public credit 
is excellent. You can borrow money at 3 per cent on public 
credit and pay for it in twenty years if you like, or one-twentieth of it 
each year until the amount is paid. In the larger States the farmers 
portion of this burden will be exceedingly hghl. In the State of New 
York a careful estimate from statistics collected in all the counties 
shows that the farmers would be required to pay only about 7 per 
cent of the entire cost, and that the other 93 per cent would be 
paid by the incorporated cities and towns. Don't be frightened by 
every alarmist who screams "high taxes." Look well to your local 
tax and the Slate assessment will never give you trouble. You are 
paying less taxes than any other farmer in the world, and your op- 


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portunities are ihe grandest. Give yourself a chance to prosper and 
your taxes will become thin air. You have never really known what 
it is to be taxed. In 1820, when the best men of England were urging 
the adoption of better road laws and the building of better roads in 
that country, Sydney Smith wrote this sentence: "The school boy 
whips his taxed top ; the beardless youth manages his taxed horse 
with a taxed bridle on a taxed road ; and the dying Englishman, 
pouring his medicine, which has paid 7 per cent, into a spoon 
that has paid 1 5 per cent, flings himself back upon his chintz bed 
which has paid 21 per cent and expires in the arms of an apothecary 
who has paid a license of a j^ioo for the privilege of putting him to 
death." England built her roads nevertheless. Think of that, and 
never again groan about taxes. 


I think you will agree with me that your wagon roads should be 
much better than they are, and the main difficulty that troubles you, I 
believe, I can understand. You are wondering how yon are to get the 
better roads which will give you the same advantages that are given 
to the farmers of England, France, Italy and other European countries. 

The answer is not difficult. You are simply to insist that the main 
roads in your country shall be reconstructed and kept in repair at the 
expense of the State at large instead of by a tax directed against the 
farmers alone, and then you are to send a man to the Legislature who 
believes in the same doctrine and will stand up for it Don't start 
again at the prospect of more taxes ; you are not to pay more, but less. 
Did you ever take the trouble to find out what a ridiculously small 
portion of the Stale taxes you pay ? It will do you no harm to took it 
up. Send a postal card to your Secretary of State at your State Capitol, 
and ask him to send you a copy of the last report, showing the State 
taxes collected in your State. Examine this book and compare it with 
your last tax receipt, and you will be amazed to find that the farmer 
cuts a comparatively small figure in making up these taxes. If yon are 
good at figures, take out from the report which you receive the value 
of all the taxable property in the State. Then assume that, say 
$10,000,000 were to be raised for the purpose of highway im- 
provement ; that this money should be raised by Slate loan payable in 
seventeen years; compute how much this would be for each year ; 
divide the amount to be raised each year by the total value of all the 
taxable property In the State ; this will give you the amount of tax on 

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each dollar of property. Then take the assessed value of your farm 
and you can easily decide what your proportion will be of that yearly 
tax. If you find that it costs you more than ten cents per acre of 
your entire farm, I shall be wcnderfully in error. Now compare the 
amount of that tas with the time that you spend each year with your 
team ' ' working out " your highway tax under the present system, and 
tell me which you think is the cheaper. 

Consider the loss of time and energy, and the expenses of repairs 
and labor which the old road puts upon you. How much has your 
&nn increased in value in the last ten years? Not one dollar. Think 
of this, and, if you can't do better, coax your neighbors into the 
desperate experiment of putting down half a mile of good solid smooth 
road, just to satisfy yourselves by a home-made object lesson. 

Experience will convince you one way or the other, and if you find 
that afler all good roads are a splendid investment, nail your conviction 
into the platform of your political party and fight hard for that policy 
which best tends to develop and enrich the country — keep thinking. 
"Second thoughts are the adopted children of experience." 


And so I have tried to show you that to have a good road is to save, 
to accumulate, to improve and prosper ; for prodigality and waste are 
everywhere abroad, and there is no prodigal like a shiftless community. 
And I have written to you about the common roads, for it is high time 
that you should know that these roads are the most expensive of all the 
public property, and that for about a hundred years in the keeping of 
these roads you have been paying a good deal more than your share of 
the expense. The pohticians have been making ducks and drakes 
of your resources at the rate of a thousand millions or so a year, and 
have stuck to the political dogma that anything is good enough for the 
farmer so long as his wits can be confined to the business of raising 

It will pay you to think of this from time to time, because it all 
comes down to a question between the farmer and the State, and if 
you bear in mind that the seven holes in your bead were all made to 
use, you are likely to discover a big balance to your credit in the public 
accounts. Of course the ' ' accounts " are more or less imaginary, but 
the balance is not ; and I may as well say right here that as soon as 
you are satisfied that the day has come when the State should begin to 
square its everlasting debt with the farmer,. yon had belter strike an 

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attitude and extend your hand for a settlement just afler the manner of 
that despot down at the toll-gate who plucks your dime every time he 
accords you the privilege of traveling the public road. 

Bear in mind, too, that the common highway is the property of all 
the people ; that the road which passes your door yard is only part of 
the great highway from Maine to California ; for I have tried to show 
you how it is that every other civilized nation on the face of the globe 
has repented its shamefaced imposition upon the farmer, and has 
made the care and keeping of the main country roads a direct charge 
upon the Government itself. They have found it to be immensely 
better for the Government, immeasurably better for the &rmer, and 
more equitable for both. One of these days we are going to do things 
on the same plan in the United States, and it only rests with you to fix 
the time. You may hope to catch larks if ever the Heavens fall, but 
you'll get no help from the politicans unless you stand up on both feet 
and ask for it 

Besides, your average politician is not often " posted " on the ques- 
tion of good roads. Try him and see. Next November, about elec- 
tion time, when the fall rains have set in and your din roads have gone 
into their semi-annual pickle, candidates for the L^islature will appear 
in your neighborhood and you will find the man whose hand is like a 
dead porgie for nine months in the year to be the most genial fellow 
living. Go down to the comers and hear him make a speech. He 
feels an agony of apprehension that the State is not going to do the 
square thing by the farmer, and he has just wallowed through twelve 
miles of mud to talk to you about ballot reform and the tariff on 
tomato cans. His poor horse is half dead with fatigue, and his buggy 
is pasted and clogged all over with thick mud till every spoke is as big 
as the leg of a piano. Ask him what he thinks of the country roads ; 
and whether it isn't abdut time for the State to take the lead in a move- 
ment to improve the main highways. Tell him that in your State bad 
TOads on election day mean the practical disfranchisement of twenty 
thousand intelligent farmers, and ask him if he doesn't see how perilous 
his to leave the success or failure of the stupendous tomato can ques* 
tion dependent on the weather. 

Suggest to him that it will be time enough to settle the best way to 
count the ballots when a way has been provided for every voter to cast 
one; that a bad road is a tax on your citizenship; that every general 
election day sees half a million of the best farmer? of this country 
mud-bound at home and deprived of their votes because they can't 
get to the polls, and ask him to extend his ballot reform movement so 

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as to cover the entire question. It is just as important to get the bal- 
lots fully into the box as to get them fairly out of it Ever)' citizen 
sbouid not only have the privilege of voting, but the public hand in 
this free republic should make every road good enough to invite all 
its voters to the polls on election day. When you compel a farmer to 
drive through lo miles of morlar bed to cast a loyal vote you are mak- 
ing him pay for the privilege, and the State which does that in this 
advanced year of grace is guilty of a wrong. 

Say all this to your political candidate. Tell him the people of this 
country are paying Ji40,ooo,ooo every year to support the common 
schools; thai about $45,ooo,'XX> of this sum are wasted because more 
than 30 per cent, of the pupils are kept out of school — mostly on ac- 
count of bad roads and bad weather ; that the farmers are bearing the 
greatest proportion of this loss and that a few miles of better roads in 
each county would tend to even up matters a little. 

You are likely to find him bristling all over with a sedate and child- 
ish ignorance or these questions. He is fenced in by a party platform, 
a political handbook and a boss; but a little common sense from the 
home-market will do him no harm, and he will serve your interests just 
in proportion that you make him see that the farmer has no use for a 
narrow-gauge politician. 

But your representatives in the law-making bodies of the State and 
nation will be found to include many able and far-seeing men who 
are ready to urge the movement for better roads as soon as they are 

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sure of the moral support of the farmer. They know well the crying 
need of this improvemeni, but they are not sure (hat you know it 
They will pass the laws as quickly a you demand them; but as repre- 
sentatives they generally aim to reflect the popular will rather than to 
mould it. Few men in public office have the courage to lead. 

In the departments of government at Washington the necessity for 
better roads is an accepted fact The Deparment of State has lately 
received from our consuls and ministers representing the United 
States in foreign ports, a most interesting series of statements and de- 
scriptions respecting the improved systems of roads and road laws of 
other countries, and these reports are now being prepared by the Gov- 
ernment printer for distribution. In the year 1888 the report of the 
Department of Agriculture conUined a sUtement by the Commis- 
sioner so timely and so forcible that I have deemed best to quote it for 
your benefiL 

The Commissioner says : 

"The common roads of the country are the veins and arteries 
" through which flow the agricultural productions and the commercial 
" supplies, which are the life-blood of the nation, to those great ducts 
" of travel and transportation — the railroads of the country. 

"While our railway system has become the most perfect in the 
" world, the common roads of the United Slates have been neglected and 
" are inferior to those of any other civilized country in the world. They 
" are deficient in every necessary qualification that is an attribute to a 
" good road ; in direction, in slope, in shape and service, and, most 
" of all, in want of repair. These deficiencies have resulted not only 
" from an ignorance of the true principles of road-making, but also 
" from the varied systems of road-building in force in the several States 
" of the Union, due to defective legislation. The principle upon which 
" the several States have based much of their road legislation is inovm as 
" the ' road-tax ' system of personal service and commutation, which is 
" unsound as a principle, unjust in its operations, ■wasteful in its practice, 
" and unsatisfactory in its results. It is a relic of feudalism borrowed 
"from the ' statute labor ' of England, and its evil results are to-day ap- 
" parent in the neglected and ill-conditioned common roads of the country. 

"It is a question of vast importance to the welfare of this nation 
" that these arteries of agricultural and commercial life should receive 
" the attention that their importance deserves, and that an effort 
" should be made to remedy the defects now existing and establish a 
" system that could be made uniform and efficient in all the States of 
" the Union. 

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"By the improvement of these common roads every branch of our 
" agricultural, commercial and manufacturing industries would be 
" materially benefited. Every article brought to market would be 
" diminished in price ; the number of horses necessary as a motive 
" power would be reduced, and by these and other retrenchments 
" millions of dollars would be annually saved to the pubUc. The ez- 
" pense of repairing roads and the wear and tear of vehicles and horses 
" would be essentially diminished, and the thousands of acres of land 
" the products of which are now wasted in feeding unnecessary animals 
" in order to carry on this character of transportation would be de- 
" voted to the production of food for the inhabitants of the country. 
" In fact, the pubhc and private advantages which would result from 
" effecting this great object in the improvement of our highways are 
" incalculable, not only to the agricultural community as a class, but 
" to the whole population as a nation." 

Gladstone, who is perhaps the greatest Englishman of the century, 
says : "The duties of a government are paternal," and in that sen- 
tence includes the whole scheme of honest statc-crafL It is this prin- 
ciple that pervades the road laws of every civilized country in Europe 
and insures to ail the people a bir and equitable opportunity to enjoy, 
untrammeled, the full blessings of their vocations and live their lives 
"in the pursuit of happiness." 

What " paternal duty," my dear American farmer, does your Slate 
exercise in your behalf? Post offices? Yes, it leaves your letter at 
the corners, four miles distant and permits you to wade and wallow for 
it Free suffrage ? Yes, my loyal friend, every year or two the elec- 
tion excitement gets into your borough and you are invited once or 
twice a week to shoulder a torch and chase the village band through 
miles of slime to the tune of "Kemo Kimo " till election day comes, 
when, if your rheumatism lets up and the mud isn't too deep, you 
drive the patient old mare through miles of mangled soil to help elect 
somebody who is apt to serve your interests last and least of all 
Schools? Yes, the red school-house is there, but your children are 
half the time at home in spring and fall because the roads are bad. 
Churches? No, your Government leaves the religious question entirely 
with you, and I sometimes think when the old clergyman preaches the 
doctrine, " A righteous man rcgardeth the life of his beast," and "The 
prudent man looketh well to bis going," that there is enough philos- 
ophy in those two texts to give you the first good lift to stronger 

You see, it is a kind of reform that must come from the people, 

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and, most of all, from the fanners. It is a refonn that benefits all and 
injures none ; makes you broader and better in your person and in 
your possessions ; helps and hastens the happiness of your family; 
shields and saves the patient friend that drags your wagon so many 
miles from year to year ; puts you on better terms with yourself and 
all mankind and leaves you wondering what sort of a farmer that was 
who lived and labored in a sea of mire. It is a reform that is now 
at the threshold of your State and one that will respond to your feeblest 

I. B. P. 

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lie acreage imp^ycil in ihe culiivaiion of the pnncipal ccop^ ThtH com- 

increue hai been «nbsianTin11y lh_ , .. 

aboal 361,940,000, pod ih« Lorai acrengc in f^tmi 681,31 

The acreage 

». he principal 
anted by Ihe m 

crof* as Ri^ in <he agricnlmn. 
onihly reporti lor 1890, an ai lb 

report! for .889, w 


Com 78,3.9,651 
Oa^ '.V,'0 
Barler •.■W*-!*' 

acmge in all theie cropi was 



1 &.^:: 







t. hay and cottoa. 
far .890 would be 
hut •howim as Inc 

which the taitn en 

Vhe yield of 
HMedihn.: Cor 
barle,. 6,,7.o,ooo 

ihe principal producB, «fiiaaHd from Ihe m 

• ; pbtitocs, .40,000,000 biuhdi: hay, 46,31 
y^ ago. ^ mlioun. of ihe^I^l Llnc^ " 

SI"' «.^'' ""'0^ OSi' 

»,o« uma. and cotton, aboul, 


J«.»«T "Teso, »d ;«lr, ■ 

S90, lompare ai fcllowa : 

HoisM ii,aai.8oo 14.313,837 fti3,i9$,iit I979,;i6.s6i 

MlldieOwi!;,.;|.',';;i'.";!|;;*.' a'^,oao '^.m^Ml a/^'Sw'*™ 3!3!'!a!"3J 

Outl* 11,331,000 3*,«49.«4 34",76i,"54 560,6=5,137 

""P 40,7*5.»™ 44tl36,<>7" 90,110,100 100,650761 

Ho^a 34.034,100 5..6oi,7Bo i45,;Si,}is *43,4ia,336 



Mnl- ,. „ ,. .. , -.., 

Cowi 13,, niftswine... 

No informal ion ii oUBcblly reported rtffardina the Dumber of poultry <vihep 
All tnlmaie. on ihe subject are excc'edingly loose. According (o Ihe btsi offi< 
yield of wool for .890 it not Imrironi 170,000,000 pounds. 


Total piqnibtioa... 

State debts (net) 96460, 

State poblw indebtednaa .B1.T71.311 

Total SuuertrmacB ai,s}3,>6o 

Baukins capital .71,69^670 

Capiiarinvetted during dK>dc 3,339,170,000 

Raflnad mileaiie Ji..i3 

Cost ofnitraad eqaipineDI (1,301,696.740 

Number of manufleioriei 56,714 

Cawial .,., #551,483,900 

Value of product 741,865.100 

For year .S90, Per cmt. 

.4,«38,9|6 Inc. ,q. 

t^hul 1»E in- 

13.844-057 ."64 (a. 16;, 15 5,795 Inc. lo.i 

96460,116 118,195,351 Dec. li. 

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StMioQi In Stua 

Ala^l— Silka 

Alabami— Mobile... 

Art— Whipple Bar'ki 

Arluniu-LIiiiB Roc 


Cslifo^ia— Red BluS 

Colomdo— DenvH . . . 


Pike'i Peak . . . 
Delmwin— Brukwat. 
Dig. CoL— Wuhlngic 

PtBtico't '.'.'.'.'. 

Idaho— BoiiE Ciiv ... 

iDdiaim— Tnd uDapolii 


KmiKU^ — Le^venwonJ 

Dodge City ... 

Kantucky— LoaiiVmV.' '. 

Ixniiiiina— Shrevepon. . 

New Orl™.,.... 

Maryland— Bil'ii^ore!' 
Hu(.— BoiiOD 

Wood'uHoIl .... 


Michigan — Marqaelie, . 

HbnwB— buVuih '.'.'.'. 

St. Vi„c«n 

Si Paul 


Miulnippi— Vickiburg . 
Miawuii— St. LouB 



^— NewY^ 


I, Dikou— Ft. Bnibrd. 

5. Dakota— Fort SuUy . 

Tam.-NaahviUc ... 

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MaDcheitcr, N. H.. 

Mtmphin, Tenii 

MiJwaukee, Wii.... 
Mlnaupolii, Minn.. 
Mobile, All 


Newark, N.J 

New Bedford, M»i. 

New Orleu>s.La... 
Newpnn, R.I 

New VwkC"*!"" 

Norfolk, Vm 

OnuhL Neb 

OfbkaSi, Wii 

PMenon. N.I 


Pclcnbufg. Va 

Phibdelphw, Pa.... 

Pinsbunili, Pa 

Porlland. Me 


Poaihkeepiie, N. Y. 
ProvideDce.R, I..,. 

Q.iinc»y, III 

Readiag, Pa 

Rkhmood, Va 

RocheMtr, N. Y 

Hockford, lit 

Sacnnenio, Cat.... 

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SpringJIeld, III 


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SyracuH. N. V 

Taunlon, MiM 

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1. Roads Improvement. {Illustrated.) Pamphlet. Com- 

prising three brief essays by Isaac B. Potter, Edward P. 
North, C. E,, and Prof. Lewis M. Haupt, entitled "The 
Common Roads of Europe and America,'' " Highways and 
National Prosperity," and "The Importance of Good 
Wagon Roads." 

2. The Gospel of Good Roads. {Illustrated^ Pamphlet. 

Treating of the economic worth of high-class roads ; their 
value to the farmer and the merchant, and the duty of the 
State in the making and repair of the main wagon roads. 

3. Macadam and Telford Roads. {Illustrated) Their 

advantages, cost, methods of making and repair, with de- 
scriptive matter relating to road-making machinery and 
implements. (In press.) 

4. Dirt Roads and Gravel Roads. {Illustrated.) In 


These publications will be followed at proper intervals by 
others bearing upon the subject of Roads Improvement, which 
will be announced when ready for issue. They will be dis- 
tributed by the National Committee among the several State 
Divisions in pro rata quantities upon application to the Chair- 
man. Other organizations, societies, clubs, farmers' institutes, 
etc., wishing to obtain these publications in quantities for dis- 
tribution will be supplied upon very reasonable terms upon 
application to 

ISAAC B. POTTER, Chairman, 

278 Potter Building, 


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40 Willi Street, Room (j, N.« York. 
Riiir VicfcPMSinmtiT, 


Hwtfctd. Conn. 



I iS Bioid Stmt. Eliabeih, N. J. 


IiiiHAii*— CkiefCooiul, iUnyT.HiBknef.tiil 
nil Sirm, Indiuipolii. S«rel«rT.Trt»aurer, J 
itu C. Newty, 10; No. AlnbuuSiiHt, Indiaiupolu 


KumjCEV-Chier Couul, Andrew I, Lamb. Box 
141, LouBvUlo. Sscretary-Treaartr, G. " " ' 
1919 Fiord Sirc«, Loufavflle. 

LouisiAHA— Cbiel CoasaLFnokE. Bora, 114 Laoiil- 
iuiiiATniK.NcwOtleiini. Secratary-Tntuuier, C. P. 
ClupnwB, 847 CwoDdcIci Sat»t, New Ortou. 

ui-ChiefConwI.HoiiriirdM. Btmb, iw Fnmk- 

gtudlng Committaai. 

Mimterikif Cimmittte. 

Suidfotd Iawiob SpringTicld. Ma«. 

G«(1«C. Peumt Elizibtth, N.I. 

Howird I. Ptikiu Bor 103, Providsnu, R.1. 

(jmrnltUt M Imprmtmtmi ^ HigkiiMft. 

IiucB. Potler pMlerBldg., New Ynk. 

W. M. P. Bovcn B» 1513. ProvWeBce, R. 1. 

Chu. W. Wood. . 334 S. SilinB Saett, SyncnH, V. Y. 

dmtnatti tu Righli attd PrniUttt. 
Ceo, A. Pakiu s Pemberton Squire, BoMon. 

feS. Dsm aS Slaie &reet, Bcuoo. 
M. F. CoHum PonchkeWe. N. y. 

CBmmillH OH Snlii ami Rtenlalioits. 

T.J. Kirkourick SprlngSeld, Ohio. 

A.%.Rkhnoa<l Gnnd Ripidi, Mich. 

AlbotMoti «} Lenoi Street, BabimDca. Md. 

Joeepb T. Chi«B . ..1 » Hodier Sowi. Buttimon, Md. 
&irfey B. Ayra— lUod, UcNtUy Bldf., Chu^o, IJI. 

Thomu Sknce CUy Sannoih, Gi. 

AuiiT. Dodd ToPwkPbce, Newnric, N.J. 

John H. Seward » Milk Street, Baton. 

Ch»i. A. Sbeeh«n...5V»Bdeibi]l Avenue, New York. 

Geo. S. Alwaler. .14*4 P«ii. Ate., Wnhbuton, D. C. 
Geotse CoUiner . . 147 OoixrkiSticei. Clevelud, Ohio. 

LewlaA. MlUer UerideB, Cou. 

W. H. DeGruf. 4; Wot i4>h. New York Chv. 

A.J. Street 599 Weu Modtion, Chloigo, IIL 

DlTldBB Oflicen> 

Coniuli ud aflenti ihoajcl drAw upon DJvliLoa Offi. 
cen ior lupplis of Appliaiiaii ud Renevnl Blnki, 
■nd Isr Lnuine litenuure of (U UndL PoM Office 
■ddrenei wilt be found below : 

C*LiFoiiHi*-Chief Con«iI. Thoi. U Hill Odd Fel- 
low«' BIdgi. Sm FrmnclKO. Secteniy-TreMurer, 
Oiwkid Gnnjchet, 15 So. Pu^ Street, 5u Joh. 

COLOIUDO -Chief Consul, Edward S. Uutwell, i>s 
WenTweltlh Aienue, Dmver. 

CONMiCTKUT— Cbief CohhI, Althnr Allen Dean, 
Duiiel«ii'il1e. Secrenrf-TreMurer, Edward A. Do- 
Bloia, Drawer ii, Hartford. 

DiuWAii— Chief Couul, S. Waltii Merrlhew, »a£ 
JackHO Stmt, Wilmiiuteti. Secretary-Treunret, 
Cbu. S- Wnwn, St} Fraaklio Street. Wilmington. 

DmniCT or Columwa— Chief Conin], Gaerte S. 
Atwaler. 1494 PcDUTlvania Avenge, Waihington. 
SecnarT-Treaiarer, W. H. Stearai, 1411 G Street, 
tf . W., Waihiogton. 

luiHon— Chief Connl, Wm. A. Davie, 34a Soath 
Leavitt Street. Cbiulo. SeeTetarv-Tnaaarer.Thomai 
F. Sheridan, 1411 North Fonnh Street, Sfvingfield. 


n. J, Ut 

venagt, 17 Souib Charle* iilicet, Balii 

MASSACHUians— Chief Ctmaul, A. 

II Uilk Street, Boiian. SecmHT-Treuarer, Cbai. 
S. Howard, Globe OEBce, Boatoo. 

MiCKioAH—Chief Conn], A. B. Bichmood. 370 So. 
LafBTciie Street, Gnad Rapldi. SecntaiyTreaiurer, 
C A.Conorer.Coldwaier. 

MiHHDtiTA- Chief Couul, T, M. Slown, Boi 380, 
UiueapoliL Secretiry-Treuurer, E. S, Gnsory, 

Hiswuii-^hief Ouunl, Robert Holm, goS La Salle 
Street. St. Louis. Secreory-Treaiurcr, J. H. Keltar, 
Smitb Hardware Co., Sedalia. 

Street, Unuha. SnTMaiy^TreasunT, 
mus, Ftemont. 

t. UcMai- 

Hl^, iGs Vine Street, 
=r,T>. W. D. Ktmp- 

R. H. Scotl, People's Ins. Co., MancbtMi 

New Jusiv— Chiei Coosul. Dr. G. Caileton Br«wa, 
16 Broad Street, Ehiabeth. Secrelary-Treaiui ei. Gee. 
C. Pnnell, 414 South Broad Street, Elizibeth. 

Niw Yoaif— Chief Connl W. S. Bull, 
Street, Buffalo, N. Y. Secretarv-Treann 
H, Niabetl, jo Wall Stmt. N. Y. City. 

Ohio— Cbitf Cooml, M, A. HI 
CindonslL SeCTetarr-'^ 
ion, 53 West Ninth, Cii 

PDncsvLTAHiA — Chief CobsuI, Samuel A. Boyle, 
Asi't Dui.Aii'y, Philadnlpbia. Secretary-Treasurer, 
John J. Van Noit, ScrantflB- 

Rhodi lBLAHi>-Chiet ConiuL G«l. L. Coote, Box 
iioi. Providence. Secretary-Tieaiurer, Nelson H. 
Gibb*, 3ie Weslminster Street, PtDvideoca. 

TiHHiuu— Chief Consnl, Cbu. J. Sheier, ait 
Main Street, Memphis. Secmiry-TreiiureT, Tbomaa 
J. Dnpiee, jjS Front Street, Memphis. 

Texas— Chief Conul, E. W. Hope, Sherman. 

Utah— Chief Consul, Harry C. Creary, Boi iSi, 
Salt Lake Cty. 

ViauoHT— Chief Consul. F. A. Hubbard, Brwile- 
bornngh. Secretary-Traaaoter, E. D. Whitaey, Bnu- 
lle borough, 

ViiciinA— Chief Consul, Law L. Waring, Norfolk. 
Secretary-Treasurer, J. Hugh Uanry, 140 Bute Stmt, 

WuT ViRCTHiA—Chler CoBsnl, I. U. Belleville, 
4s No. Front Street, Wheeling. 

WiscOHUH-ChieT Connil, W. I. Slnunds, 33s East 
.«_._,> ^.. ,.._ Secrttary, F.J. Morawett, 


Morgan & Co., 11 

Street, Milws 

—Joseph Penaetl, i 
If Br-' " '- 

d Bread Street, Lvidoo. £ 

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